Do leaves have to be raked?

Asked October 30, 2018, 5:51 AM EDT

Oak leaves fall in my shady, woody garden. Should they be raked out or can I just leave them there to serve as mulch like in a natural setting?

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

It is a good idea to leave the leaves in your garden beds. It is a source of free mulch and provides winter cover for pollinators and other invertebrates.

Here are more ideas for dealing with fallen tree leaves:
    • Shred them with a mulching lawnmower and leave them in place (as long as they don’t completely cover your grass.)
    • Shred them and add them to your compost pile.
    • Cover your garden soil with shredded leaves.
    • Use them to mulch perennials, trees, and shrubs.
    • Run them over with a mulching mower, bag them up and use them as a mulch next year.