Autumn is definitely here with its morning chill and tree leaves that are starting to change colour. This is the ideal time to get ready for your winter plants and to get a head start on spring gardening. Autumn is a magical time of the year that will make you look at nature in a whole new way.
These natural seasonal changes provide us with a bounty of free fallen leaves that can be used in the garden as compost and mulch.

autumn trees

Soil basics

Mulch will protect your plant’s roots during the winter freeze with the added bonus of saving water. Mulch is basically compost that hasn’t decomposed yet and can be spread right on top of the beds. Mulching is the best way to replenish organic material in your beds if the soil is in the right condition.

Healthy soil should be loose and crumbly with a lovely earthen smell and minimal compaction or sedimentation. However, if your soil is compacted and crusty, compost is the solution. You will have to dig in loads of compost to a depth of at least 50cm.

Compost is ideal for planting and replenishing garden beds. Whereas mulch is a simpler option, composting will require a bit more effort. However, by following the composting instructions below, this will be transformed into a simple task.

1. Select the correct site for composting

compost bins

2. Decide on a compost heap or compost bin

3. Start composting

compost ingredient table

mulch ready to be used in the garden

Every year nature gives us this bounty of leaves and it is up to all of us to realize this potential. Composting and mulching are recycling in its simplest form. Let’s try and lessen the amount of black bin bags stuffed with leaves that just go to waste. So now it’s time to start raking up those leaves whilst enjoying autumn in all its glory.
PS. Find a few trees in the neighbourhood that lose their leaves during winter and over the next few weeks watch them transform…