A reader recently asked about the practice of shredding leaves prior to using them as mulch. What is the motivation for shredding leaves and what are the benefits of this practice?

Leaves are a great source of organic nutrients for your lawn and garden. Leaves are packed with trace minerals that trees draw up from deep in the soil. When added to your garden, leaves feed earthworms and beneficial microbes. They lighten heavy soils and help sandy soils retain moisture. They make an attractive mulch in the flower garden. They’re a fabulous source of carbon to balance the nitrogen in your compost pile. And they insulate tender plants from cold.

Shredded leaves also take up much less space by a 16:1 ratio.  If you don’t have a leaf shredder one of the best ways to shred your leaves is to make long piles on the lawn and then go over them a few times with your lawn mower.

Leaves can do great things:

  1. Feed earthworms
  2. Lighten heavy soils
  3. Be used as inexpensive mulch in gardens and beds
  4. Wonderful source of carbon for your compost pile (balances out nitrogen rich grass)
  5. Insulate plants from cold weather


If you would like a quote on having leaves removed from your yard, request a quote from one of our lawn care providers.

To have decomposable leaf bags delivered to your door, click here.

If you would like to purchase a leaf shredder, we recommend the Worx 13 Amp Electric Leaf Muncher or the Flowtron LE-900 Ultimate Electric Leaf Shredder. Both Available from Amazon.com with free delivery.