Urban soils are devoid
of healthy topsoil mostly due to its removal during development. Without
this topsoil layer, it is very difficult for plants to thrive and be
healthy. The simplest way to build the soil is by leaving leaves around
the plants to decompose naturally. If that is not an aesthetically
pleasing option, then the next best thing is to rake all of the leaves
into a pile, preferably in a rear corner of your property, and leave
them to decompose.
After a few short months the pile of leaves
will turn into compost and can be spread throughout your yard providing
food for the soil and plants. The City of Falls Church offers a free
leaf mulch program.
If you must use other types of mulch,
shredded bark, composted organic matter, or manure and chipped tree
branches and wood are also options. These are all great food sources for
the soil and plants.