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Leaves in borders

For various reasons (age and health!) I didn't get around to lifting the leaves from the borders in the Autumn.  On a reasonably pleasant day this week I did a quick inspection and discovered that there is quite a thick covering of leaves in all the borders.  I'm wondering, can I just leave them to rot down, or should I get them up and bag them for leaf mould next year?  (I suspect that I know the answer really!!)


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,165
    I would go the leaf mould route personally  :) l know there's a theory that the worms take the leaves underground, but l don't think they got the memo here.
    Have you got bulbs coming up ?, if so take care when you're clearing the leaves.
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,527
    Last year I chucked all the leaves I have swept off the paths and raked off the lawn onto the borders.By Spring they had all vanished so assume worms here are doing their job!
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087
    edited January 2020
    Same here. I leave them on the boarder for nature to do the necessary work but always attempt to clear leaves from perennials and alpines so to allow light and air to get to them 
    Any on my lawn get racked up and bagged for leaf mould in the distant future 
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,741
    Not leaves, but some weeks ago I raked all the rotting crab apples off the lawn onto the borders.  I must check to see what's happened to those.
  • +1 here on leaving leaves rot down where they fall usually. If I have some spare time I pick some off the driveway and throw them into the nearest flower bed. I reckon they give shelter to some insects and naturally improve the soil and find the flowers and shrubs still end up growing away fine. They are like a natural mulch to protect the soil from the heavy rain we get in winter and I think reduce the amount of weeds sprouting a bit as well.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Leaves on the borders will rot down and improve the soil in time, although they may smother small plants and seedlings. However, they are great for sheltering slugs which will emerge to gobble up everything that grows. I gather up fallen leaves where I can and compost them.
  • I prefer borders being clear of leaves. I just blow them into lawns and mow them up. 
  • Hmmm.  Perhaps I should carefully rake them up.  I do have a lot of bulbs and small plants coming up so will be careful.  Also, the thought of them sheltering the dreaded slugs fills me with horror.  Thanks everyone.
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