Leaf cover as natural weed barrier?

Cool season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue & Rye
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Mozart
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Leaf cover as natural weed barrier?

Post by Mozart » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:31 am

Would leaves work as a natural weed barrier? I have some “landscaping areas” without mulch that tend to get oxalis and wild violet.

I’m wondering if the leaves will smother the ground and kill old weeds/prevent new weeds? I’m also thinking that the leaves would break down eventually and turn into quality dirt.

The area in question is bare dirt (some forsythia are growing there but no ground cover).

Anyone have experience with this?

TN Hawkeye
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Re: Leaf cover as natural weed barrier?

Post by TN Hawkeye » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:52 am

Mozart wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:31 am
Would leaves work as a natural weed barrier? I have some “landscaping areas” without mulch that tend to get oxalis and wild violet.

I’m wondering if the leaves will smother the ground and kill old weeds/prevent new weeds? I’m also thinking that the leaves would break down eventually and turn into quality dirt.

The area in question is bare dirt (some forsythia are growing there but no ground cover).

Anyone have experience with this?
Last year I bagged some of the leaves in my yard and spread it about 4” deep on an area by my mailbox. It held the weeds down fairly well. The ones that did come up were easy to pull out. Most of the leaves were dark red so for a short time it had a really nice color to it.
I may not have the best lawn and I may not have a clue what I’m doing but that’s pretty much all I have to say.

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: Leaf cover as natural weed barrier?

Post by ken-n-nancy » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:48 pm

Yes, as long as they're deep enough, leaves or grass clipppings work great as a weed-prevention mulch. Decades ago, when I bagged grass clippings and grew a vegetable garden, we'd use grass clippings and leaves as a weed-prevention mulch. They work great and help build up the soil.

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Re: Leaf cover as natural weed barrier?

Post by Chris LI » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:45 pm

+1 ken-n-nancy. I've also done this for many years. Also, the leaves seem to inhibit weed germination, to some extent. Hopefully, the link I attached works. There is a pdf download too.
http://horttech.ashspublications.org/co ... /297.short

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ForsheeMS
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Re: Leaf cover as natural weed barrier?

Post by ForsheeMS » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:04 am

If you get them thick enough and then wet them down so they won't blow off then yes, they will prevent weeds, grass and most anything else from coming up. I generally chop my leaves up into the lawn but I do blow some of the leaves in my back lawn into a "natural area" for this reason. There are a few stumps and roots in that small area that make it difficult to mow plus most of the time the dogs do their business there too. Over the years it will also greatly improve the soil.

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Re: Leaf cover as natural weed barrier?

Post by Mr Efficiency » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:21 pm

One problem with leaving leaves in the beds is they become a breading ground for ticks but if you chop them up or much them, it should work good.

Now for lawns, chopping up the leaves and leaving them is a good a weed and crabgrass preventer. Here is a study someone shared with me.

Good read.

http://www.canr.msu.edu/news/to-bag-or-not-to-bag
Last edited by Mr Efficiency on Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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