Rake your leaves

Lots of cosiness

Leave leaves and do good

Every year anew trees and bushes shed their leaves and can thus provide a lot of work in the garden. Rake, sweep, collect and start all over again - this is the everyday autumn life of many gardeners. It makes much more sense to save yourself this work.

Leaves can do a lot more than just look pretty - Photo: NABU / Eric Neuling

Foliage is a natural winter protection for flora and fauna. We should therefore leave it lying around in the garden, for example in the form of a heap of leaves in a corner of the garden. This has several advantages. For hedgehogs, insects and other animals, a pile of leaves is an ideal place to spend the cold winter months, because the leaves isolate and thus offer a cozy shelter. After winter, the leaves are broken down by thousands of living things and converted into valuable humus. The nutrients stay in the garden. So why should you spend money on sacks of leaves?

It is better to avoid leaf blowers when cleaning up in the garden

The ecological damage caused by motorized leaf vacuums, which rattle through the gardens with the volume of a jackhammer, is enormous: Millions of microorganisms are sucked up and cut up together with the leaves. Air speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour and suction capacities of around ten cubic meters per minute are generated for the suction. Above all, beetles, spiders, millipedes, woodlice and amphibians can hardly resist the turbo-blowing and suction current. In the case of leaf vacuum devices with a chopping function, the animals and insects are usually chopped up in the same operation. Leaf vacuums with combustion engines also emit harmful exhaust gases such as hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide.

Therefore it is better to do without leaf blowers and rather use brooms and rakes. If you don't have enough space in your garden for a pile of leaves or brushwood, you should build a compost heap or put the leaves in the organic waste bin. In this way, it can be recycled for nutrients and returned to the planting beds as valuable compost next spring.

Here are some things to do with foliage in the garden:

  • Pile up piles of leaves for hedgehogs and Co. as winter quarters
  • Compost leaves together with other garden waste to make valuable humus
  • Mulching the beds and under trees, this protects the soil
  • Use leaves as frost protection for woody plants, container plants and sensitive garden plants
  • Use leaves as handicraft material

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