Leaves – The Ultimate Weed Killer
Looking for the best, non-chemical weed killer out there? Try leaves!
Leaving dead leaves in garden beds is often the best technique for keepings weeds away. Most of our most troublesome weeds are annuals whose seeds require open ground and plenty of sun for them to germinate. Leaving leaves in the beds covers the ground and prevents access to sunlight for pesky weeds.
It can take a couple of years for the leaves to do their job and it is important to keep them in place through the winter so they are not blown away. A great technique for keeping leaves in place is to leave stalks from flowers in place throughout the winter and only trim away in late spring. The stalks hold the leaves all winter and our bedding plants, particularly our natives, have no problem pushing up through them.
Partial clearing of the leaves every few years is appropriate for species of plants that are more delicate. But in general leaves work great as the ultimate weed killer. See some pictures below, taken in March 2014.