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Art Knapp
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Art Knapp Articles

Allowing Leaves to Overwinter in Garden Beds

in Informational

Allowing Leaves to Overwinter in Garden Beds

If you are fretting about leaves in your garden beds, don’t. It is perfectly okay to allow lots of leaves to pile up in your beds—it’s actually a good idea. In today’s blog article we are going to talk about overwintering leaves in your flower or vegetable beds, and how to do that.

Which Leaves?

Any and all leaves can spend the winter in your garden beds, with one exception. Don’t put walnut tree leaves in your beds. Walnut tree leaves contain a chemical that can impede the growth of some plants. Those are the only leaves that you should discard away from your compost heap or your beds.

Keep in mind that things like sticks and pine cones will take longer to break down, so don’t use too many of those unless you plan to remove them in the spring.

Why Are Leaves a Good Idea?

It is a good idea to let your leaves stay in your beds over the winter for a few reasons. First, the leaves will break down over the winter, and most of them will add to the nutrition of your soil—like compost.

Leaves also act like mulch and protect perennial plants. So perennial vegetables like rhubarb or asparagus and perennial flowers like daylilies would all benefit from leaves left in the bed.

Your leaves—like mulch—also prevent some weeds from seeding. Your garden will be neater and tidier in the spring if you use leaves to cover the beds this fall.

Keeping leaves in your beds is also good for the environment. Why send leaves to the landfill when they can help your soil and soil quality at home? It makes sense to keep your leaves and use them right at home.


Art Knapp has 15 locations across British Columbia and is well known as the go-to garden centre for everything garden-related. Art Knapp, himself, began the business in the 1940's, and now, 80 years later, you can find more than he ever dreamed of in our stores. Come and see us on King George Boulevard in Surrey.


If you have any questions about this article or want to talk to us about gardening, just give us a call at (604) 596-9201.

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