November welcomes us with falling leaves and cooler temperatures. For gardeners, leaves are like gold. Shredded leaves are one of the best mulches nature provides. While shredding leaves requires a little extra time, the result is worth the effort. Before we batten down the hatches for winter, let’s consider why we might shred our leaves.

1. Conserves moisture
2. Moderates temperature during hot or cold weather
3. Free of weeds
4. Prevents weeds from growing
5. Induces earthworms
6. Soft to walk on
7. Turns to compost and enriches the soil
8. Eliminates need to rotor till
9. Aesthetic: gives attractive appearance to your garden
10. They are free and you make friends by picking them up!

To shred your leaves, run your power mower over your leaves after you have heaped them up about 20 cm high. Raise your lawn mower to its highest setting before you do this. Rake up the mulched leaves, which will have been reduced to less than 5% of their pre-mulching volume and place in your compost bin or bag them for spring. When spring arrives, spread your decomposed shredded leaves on your garden.

Or simply rake the leaves off your lawn and onto your garden. Just leave them there to rot. They become fodder for earthworms, which convert them into nitrogen-rich worm castings which are good for everything that grows. By fostering a healthy earthworm population, your garden soil will ‘open up’ as they tunnel their way to and fro, allowing oxygen to move into the root zone of your precious garden plants.

For these and more great gardening tips, visit our updated website at Be sure to check out our 2017 Event Calendar. We have an exciting line-up of monthly program speakers including: Hanna Jacobs, Matchbox Garden & Seed Company, Caledonia; Karen Buschert & Moritz Sanio, Grand River Conservation, Cambridge; David Culp, Niagara Bonsai, St. Catharines; and Lester Fretz, Lowbanks/Port Colborne. Dunnville Horticultural Society has been around since 1929 and continues to be a vibrant, growing group in our community.

Written By Sandi Marr, Secretary, Dunnville Horticultural Society with Lester Fretz. Contact


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