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There are several reasons why employers may find the inclusion of a garden leave clause necessary in contracts of employment especially when managing perceived risks to the employer entity’s intellectual property, trade secrets, confidential information and business contacts. Catherine Carney-Feldman is a member of the Ipswich Conservation Commission, a senior principle master gardener, owner of Shamrock Acres Environmental Landscape and Design, board member of the Ipswich Humane Group. • Let leaf piles decompose; the resulting leaf mold can be used as a … This is especially true in a vegetable garden where you … Covering garden beds with a thick mulch in the fall can be an effective and simple way to build soil fertility, as well as helping to keep the yard look tidier. Don’t leave fallen leaves in sodden layers on the lawn. Leaf mold is simply wet leaves that have decomposed into a rich, black, soil-like substance that makes a perfect mulch for plants. Indeed, the mixture of chopped leaves and end-of-the-season grass clippings I can collect with my mower's bagging attachment is the best mulch I … To mimic the natural ecosystem, a layer of leaves needs to be at least two inches thick. Well, we're older and hopefully wiser now, so the idea of removing this important annual input to our local soil biology, and sending it elsewhere, likely to the landfill to be buried instead, doesn't make nearly as much sense now as it might have back before we knew better. In places where you want to grow turf grass, it is essential to rake, mow or mulch the leaves in fall. Leaves will decompose naturally; as they do, they provide valuable organic matter and build up healthy soil. Be sure to remove leaves regularly from ponds (above) and from silver-leaved plants (below left); a lawnmower … Why You Should Mulch Leaves, Not Rake Them, 7 Ways to Welcome Winter Wildlife Into Your Yard, Don't Bag Leaves! As a homeowner or gardener, you might have asked yourself the question, “What can I do to support our declining local wildlife populations?”. Katie Vincent, Garden Hotline Educator Fall is iconic—and, sometimes, obnoxious—for the swath of red, orange, yellow and brown deciduous leaves that litter the ground. If none of these uses for fallen leaves work for your situation, you can look into local options for leaf drop-offs, where this yard waste is collected at a central location and then turned into compost and mulch, and although this option does still require raking and bagging, it can keep this potential natural resource out of the waste stream. And if you're like me, and you're always looking for sources of free organic matter to use as compost and mulch and soil-building materials, you can try putting your name out there as a prospective drop-off location for neighborhood leaves. So what is the environmental case for leaving your gardens untouched in the fall? But this shedding of foliage is more important to our yard’s ecosystem than many of us may believe. And you were probably told that the reason for this was not only so that the yard would look 'tidier' but also so that the leaves wouldn't kill the grass. This is a good thing depending upon your soil type: humus to make the soil drain better, be a bit looser rather than compacted is good. From green to rich reds to golden yellow, the gradual poetic-like fall of leaves to the ground and calming rustling sound can be a welcome change in the garden during autumn.. Why you should leave the roots from your old garden plants in the ground . The act of cleaning the garden in the fall may be an annual habit, a matter of social and cultural conditioning, or a holdover of outdated gardening practices from yesteryear. Pile the leaves in a spot where they’re out of the way and won’t blow away. It is comparable to the concept of paid leave of absence at the request of the employer. Although paid post-employment non-competes are sometimes also referred to as garden leave, that usage is inaccurate. Or, add those shredded leaves to your compost bin. Spread the chopped leaf mulch over your garden soil, then incorporate it with a tiller or spade. I put a pond in my garden last year and over the last few months have noticed quite a few leaves in there floating about (there isn't a tree overhead but there are a few nearby). This myth has probably sold more rakes and bags than anything else, and while raking may have enriched the pockets of neighborhood kids (assuming you got paid to rake leaves), the practice actually removes important nutrients from the yard, which homeowners then usually repurchase, in another format, in a bag or jug of fertilizer from the local garden center. This is used when an employee … If you grew up in a neighborhood with lots of trees, chances are you had to put in plenty of hours each fall raking them all together, bagging them up, and then sending them off somewhere, most likely to the landfill. Besides providing the right native plants and protecting your garden by not using pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides, one of the most valuable things you can do to support pollinators, butterflies, beneficial insects, and small vertebrates is to provide winter cover in the form of fall leaves and standing dead plant material. Remove dying leaves and collapsed stems from herbaceous perennials, either pulling by hand or cutting at the base with secateurs. I scooped some out today and also tried scooping some out from the bottom of the pond. Why spend money on mulch and fertilizer when you can make your own?”. However, once decided, I’ve never regretted the choice. What's the Most Environmentally Sound Way to Care for My Lawn? When it comes to lawns, if you must keep them clear of leaves in the fall and winter, try opting for raking or using a leaf vacuum to capture whole leaves, rather than shredding them with a mower. Our native bees, including bumblebees, also rely on leaf litter for protection. I leave all leaves in my shade garden and it has done nothing but improve the soil and stop weeds. Below are some tips on how to minimize the time you spend raking and maximize the benefit to wildlife and the greater environment that fallen leaves offer. Torii Bottomley asks why the town cannot do more to protect its natural and historical resources. (You should probably think twice about thick layers of leaves if you have vole problems-voles can burrow under the leaves and wreak havoc in your garden over the winter.) A rubber rake is the very best tool for gathering leaves from lawns, paths and paving, but a spring-tined lawn rake or even an ordinary garden rake can be used. The leaves will help retain moisture in the soil and add nutrients. The employee continues to be paid during the garden leave period. Other animals that hibernate in or under leaves include spiders, snails, salamanders, frogs, worms, beetles, millipedes, and mites. As one plant and soil specialist, Dr. Thomas Nikoai of Michigan State University, put it, leaving the leaves on the lawn is " ... not only not a problem, it's awesome." Fall leaves are a great resource of nutrients for the garden but if you use them incorrectly, they can rob your soil of nitrogen and make it difficult for plants to grow. Raking leaves from your flower beds is a common fall chore, but you may wish to leave them to act as mulch over the winter months. Make Rich Leaf Mold Instead. Leave Leaves for Wildlife. However, just leaving the leaves to lay where they fall in the autumn (see what I did there?) Fallen leaves, as an additional physical layer of organic materials above ground, provide food, shelter, and nesting or bedding materials to a variety of wildlife, as well as overwintering protection for a number of insects, all of which work together to contribute to a healthy yard. The soil itself is also a beneficiary of this autumnal gift of fallen leaves, as the leaves are essentially composted over time into nutrients that feed both the next year's 'crop' of grass, but which also feed a vast number of microbes in the soil, which are actually the most important 'crop' you can grow, considering that all plant life in your yard depends on a healthy soil biology. Over this past growing season, many of you have observed a drastic decline not only in monarchs but in all butterfly species. Leave leaves on the ground – they have a lot of benefit to wildlife and your garden. Garden leave periods are typically shorter in duration than traditional non-compete periods (six months or less). Because of last year’s leaves, I now have my mulch, water retention, weed suppression, and compost all set in my gardens for the upcoming growing season! Leaves form a natural mulch that helps suppress weeds and at the same time fertilizes the soil as it breaks down. In reality, a thick layer of leaves provides additional insulation against bitter cold weather and can protect newly planted perennials when frost-heave may expose tender roots. Garden leave describes the practice whereby an employee leaving a job—having resigned or otherwise had their employment terminated—is instructed to stay away from work during the notice period, while still remaining on the payroll. It’s perfectly fine if your grass needs to be raked. Significant as they are for your own garden, the benefits of holding onto your leaves stretch well past your property line. The reasons necess… But even if you opt to leave fallen leaves in place, that depth will be tough to achieve if your yard is limited to a cluster of ornamental trees. Mulch Them Back into Your Lawn or Garden. According to National Wildlife Federation Naturalist David Mizejewski, “Fallen leaves offer a double benefit. Leave Leaves Alone is a Bedford 2020 Program “Leave Leaves Alone is an important step toward fulfilling Bedford’s Climate Action Plan. The bottom line: You have provided your insects with flowers, bushes, and trees for food, fuel, shelter, and a place to nest. Then rake it, but take the leaves, and, if you can put them in a corner somewhere, that’s great.” If you do pile your leaves inside flower beds during garden cleanup, be sure to leave a little space around the crowns of any delicate perennials to avoid smothering them. As a volunteer, she oversees and maintains the nature gardens at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest Audubon property in Massachusetts. In the past, gardeners may have worried that fall leaves, matted down by snow or rain, would have a negative impact on their perennials. Or, rake the leaves into loose piles and run the mower over them to turn them into mulch for perennial and bulb beds. Personally, it took me a couple of years to wean myself from this archaic and harmful practice of annual fall cleanup. Mulch Them Back into Your Lawn or Garden.” Michigan State University. By on. Let leaves lie where they land on the garden site, and add to the abundance by dumping more leaves on your future flowerbed. Shredded leaves improve the structure of garden soil by taking up space between dense particles, such as those found in heavy clay soil. In woodland plantings (below), shade beds or at the backs of borders, the easiest method is to let any fallen leaves decompose directly onto the bed. In fact, the vast majority of butterflies and moths overwinter in the landscape in different stages either as eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises, or adults. When an employee leaves your company, either due to redundancy or dismissal, there is plenty of scope for confusion, confrontation and miscalculation.. Understanding the ins and outs of PILONs and garden leave is the first step to ensure you and your employees don’t suffer during the notice period. Or you can choose, like me, to “leave the leaves”! Next spring they will support the chipmunks, turtles, birds, and amphibians that rely on these insects for food. Fallen leaves have the same weed suppression and moisture retention properties of shredded wood mulch – and they are free! Within two to four weeks, the plant’s new growth hides the remaining leaves. “Composting to Kill Weed Seeds.” Texas A&M University. A leaf blower helps you quickly corral fallen leaves. Gardening leave, or garden leave, is a term most commonly used in the financial industry in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. You can also contact the coordinators of the local leaf drop-off and ask about getting bags of leaves for free from the event, which I've done before, and which can be an effective and simple ingredient for enriching your soil. Remember: by leaving the dried flower heads on both your annuals and perennials, you are providing protein-rich seeds that are valuable food for the native birds that will spend the winter here. Instead of bagging your leaves for the curb, rake them into the garden for decomposition, write Mark and Ben Cullen The idea is to leave the leaves and other garden vegetative matter for all the benefits mentioned above. And far be it from me to encourage you to use lawn equipment in a way that it's not intended, but I've heard that you can put leaves into a large trash can and then use your weed-eater in the can to slash the leaves into tiny bits for use as mulch. Maybe you have also noticed a decline in bees and other beneficial insects and songbirds as well. In the spring, just mix them in with your soil. However, in nature, nothing is immaculate or perfect. Studies have shown that it can be extremely beneficial to the health of your lawn to mulch the leaves right into it. A trick I use in the spring is to brush the remaining leaves under and around my newly emerging plants and perennials. a good point Susan. 5 Landscape Ideas for People Who Aren't Good With Plants, 17 Fall Garden Ideas, Projects, and Tips to Extend Your Harvest, How Nitrogen-Fixing Plants Can Perk Up Your Garden, 6 Homemade Herbicides: Kill the Weeds Without Killing the Earth, 7 No-Cost Ways to Grow More Food From Your Garden, Don’t Sweep Your Leaves to the Curb! Nature's autumn bounty of fallen leaves isn't usually a problem for lawns and gardens, and mulching the ground with them actually helps to feed the soil for a healthier yard. According to an interview at Christian Science Monitor, Dr. Nikolai says that by mowing over the fallen leaves to turn them into smaller pieces, the leaves will actually enhance the lawn's fertility, not kill it off. Leave any stems that have attractive seedheads for birds to enjoy. Such efforts will keep insects and other species safe and allow you to benefit from the rich garden gift that falls from the trees above. Instead, collect your leaves and create a leaf pile in the corner of your yard, where you can allow them to break down naturally. Leaves provide valuable organic matter and build up healthy soil. Leaves that have been chopped (and I am assuming this is what your mower did) can add motility but not necessarily additional fertility to garden soil. Great spangled fritillary, luna moths, Baltimore checkerspot butterflies, and woolly bear caterpillars tuck themselves into a pile of leaves for protection from cold weather and predators. Don’t carry all that hard work out to the curb or landfill. The shade perennials and shrubs thrive. Rake slower decomposing leaves into an out-of-the-way shrub area “By spring, almost all of the chopped leaves will be completely decomposed,” Maynard says. They feed not only earthworms but the many forms of micro-organisms that live in the soil. 7. The main argument for … Shredded leaves will not provide the same cover as leaves that are whole, and you may be destroying eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises, and other beneficial insects along with the leaves. Fallen leaves have the same weed suppression and moisture retention properties of shredded wood mulch—and they’re free! Rake onto a large sheet or tarp, then drag to a corner of your yard to give pollinators some winter cover. Leaves aren’t just about being useful to us as humans. The only plants and plant materials I now remove from the garden in the fall are diseased. Derek Markham is a green living expert who started writing for Treehugger in 2012. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. These days I use a mower to coarsely shred my leaves, which I then use as winter mulch in the vegetable garden. By the spring, the lower part of the leaf pile will be converted into rich soil, while the middle and top layers can be used as mulch or dug into spring garden beds as a soil amendment. Your gardens do not look immaculate. This is the part that at first is hard to get used to. Leaves are a great source of "brown," high-carbon material for the compost. Leaves can be a great additive to a home compost pile, and by keeping a pile of it next to the compost, leaves can be used to cover layers of kitchen food waste throughout the winter. Fallen leaves can also be used to reclaim sections of the yard that are marginal, just by building a huge leaf pile there and letting it sit all winter. Marilyn S. Smith, 93, wife of the late Andrew Smith, formerly of Sharon Road, South Hamilton, died December 25, 2020 at Landmark at Ocean View Assisted Living in Beverly following her extended illness. Fallen leaves also provide wildlife, especially pollinators, with some winter cover. For finer-textured mulch, shred them first. The Bedford 2020 Coalition applauds this effort to improve the health of our local soil and reduce the noise and gas pollution assoc iated with carting leaves away each year. Looks like there is a thick carpet of them at the bottom too. And those dried hollow stalks from your raspberries, elderberries, Joe Pye weed, hydrangea, and summer flowers are also a refuge for eggs of many native bee species, butterflies, moths, and other beneficial insects. Rake leaves into your empty vegetable garden. You can rake whole leaves into your vegetable garden and leave them there to compost over the season. Luna moths and swallowtail butterflies disguise their cocoons and chrysalis as dried leaves, blending in with the real leaves. Better still would be to reduce your overall lawn footprint, replacing it instead with gardens of native plantings that can be future repositories for fall leaves and habitat that support insects and wildlife. Over the winter, add a green layer of vegetable scraps to heat things up and speed decomposition (much like a compost pile). Evergreen Vs. Deciduous We can’t just have evergreens. L eaving the leaves intact will smother your lawn and encourage fungal diseases. She lives in Ipswich with her husband, David, and many rescued animals, including three horses, four dogs, 10 chickens, three ducks, and one rooster named Copernicus. “Fall Leaves: To Leave or Not to Leave.” Clemson University. Another reason to leave the leaves is for the many benefits they provide to your landscape. What does all of this information mean for your garden? Anyone who has spotted fragile spring ephemerals popping up in the woods knows that all but the frailest of plants will burst through the leaf litter in spring without trouble. To us as humans Employment Act caterpillars when they emerge emulating Mother nature — she... 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