While ‘tis the season to deck the halls and put up Christmas lights, the LSU Agriculture Center says it’s also a great time of year to take advantage of what’s falling from your trees.
All the oak leaves and pine needles lying around your yard are a perfect source of mulch for your landscape and flower beds. According to the Ag Center, leaf litter and pine straw are sometimes called Mother Nature’s mulch.
The Ag Center says the homegrown mulch helps insulate soil and maintain moisture, slows weed growth, and can even inhibit certain plant diseases.
State horticulturists also say layers of mulch should be no taller than two to three inches in well-drained areas. Applying too much mulch is called “volcano mulching” and can lead to root rot.
The Ag Center also says you should rake any layers of old mulch to break it up and refresh its appearance.
Gardeners can get similar results with shells, crushed stone or pebbles but without improving soil nutrient levels or water-holding capacity.