In a natural ecosystem, all organic matter is recycled. Dead plant matter is broken down and provides food for living plants. Layers of fallen leaves enrich the soil by providing food for the soil's organisms, which in turn create compost that provides nutrients (fertilizer) for the plants.
This process builds the topsoil layer and the soil's ecosystem, both of which are essential for healthy plants. The leaf layer also prevents rain drops from eroding the topsoil, regulates soil temperature, shades plant roots, and preserves moisture by preventing the sun from drying out the soil.
Mulching is Good
Mulching feeds the soil and eliminates the need for supplemental fertilization.
Incorporating mulch into compacted soils will help alleviate the compaction and make the resulting soil a more hospitable environment for plant growth.
If you have a lawn, use a mulching mower to cut grass and leaves into tiny pieces so that they will break down fast; leave them in place to create a healthier lawn.
Mulch provides food for soil organisms and plants.
Mulching builds soil.
Mulching prevents erosion.
Mulching preserves soil moisture.
Mulching shades plant roots and regulates soil temperature.
Mulching is Easy
Apply mulch to a maximum depth of 2 to 4 inches.
Keep mulch at least three to four inches away from the tree's trunk and root flare.
Do not separate mulch from the soil with a layer of plastic or fabric.