"fall leaves" --- poison free organic gardening Victoria BC
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poison free gardening, Victoria BC, fall leaves


Fall Leaves

gathering the free bounty of fall
leaves - the most powerful gardening resource

For us super-organic gardeners - indeed for any gardener - leaves are one of the most beautiful and most powerful resources of all. Basically, the only difference between totally barren aggregate, such as pure silt, sand and clay, and rich fertile loam, is organic matter.

That's all. It is as simple as this. And leaves are 100% organic matter. With a high content of organic matter also come all the properties of rich fertile loam. Excellent moisture holding capacity; and from this, soil temperature equalization; also excellent nutrient holding capacity; a rich and varied fabric of invaluable soil biota - all the way from dew worms to nitrogen fixing bacteria and mycorrhyzal fungi; a wide range of natural 'fertilizers' from the decay products of the organic matter - comprising almost the whole spectrum of the 92 natural elements of the Earth, moreover, in exactly the right proportions as needed by plants ( - of course).

You see, the trees and shrubs which have made all those leaves, have taken up the simple elements of the Earth and have assembled them into the highly complex organic compounds of their leaves - and much enriched by the nitrogen the trees have - with the help of nitrogen fixing bacteria - obtained from the air. And then, in the fall, they shed their leaves in great numbers to decay, and enrich the soil with their highly complex organic compounds. In this manner, good 'ole Mother Nature has created all the rich and fertile loam of the Earth; all of it.

And rich fertile soil has spawned and maintained all of the Life which has arisen from it - including our kind and selves.

Most people will be a bit surprised to find out that a fundamental, and immensely vast and powerful law of the universe is behind all this. It is the law of Progressive Complexity which has driven the progressive complexity of our universe from the simple energy of its big bang birth, to its present-day astronomical complexity. Along the way its has also created and driven the evolution of biospheres - such as our's - and including the emergence and evolution of Life to progressively higher levels of complexity - such as our kind and selves - all over the universe.

And the same vast universal law drives the progressive complexity which has created trees in the first place - and the high organic complexity of their leaves. It is also the same law which we employ and use when we gather the leaves of fall and bring them into our gardens, to add to and increase the organic content and complexity of our garden soil. Be it known then that when gathering the leaves of fall and bringing them into our gardens, that we are working hand-in-hand with the most beautiful and the most powerful law of our universe itself.

So, go forth then and gather the leaves of fall and bring them home, to add to your garden and increase the complexity, fertility and friability of your soil to your hearts content - in full knowledge that you are working hand-in-hand with the cosmic law that has created the universe, Life, our Earth, its teeming biosphere - and eventually, our kind and selves.

Can one overdo it? Hardly. The richest fertile loam has about 10% organic content - which amounts to about 1/2 of its physical volume, and that is a lot of leaves. At 10% organic content, your soil will feel slightly springy when walking upon it. However, our crops use up much of this organic content for their own growth, so we need to replenish it regularly. Fortunately, and as good 'ole Mother Nature would have it, it supplies a rich abundance of leaves every fall, and best of all, free for the taking. Moreover, you'll also be helping our city by reducing its costs for the gathering and disposal of this annual cornucopia of fall leaves.

So bring them home, spread them over your garden beds as a mulch, or to cover empty beds, and let them decay into your soil. In spring, turn what is left of them into your soil. Or you can add them to the compost pile, or let them decay under the shrubbery, and use the resulting compost in your garden.

And perhaps, and with any luck, there will come a day when the city's expense of gathering and disposing of the leaves of fall is eliminated altogether by gardeners everywhere, as they wait eagerly with open garbage bags under the trees for the rich cornucopia from above :)


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