Fall leaves are great for your flower beds (and all other garden beds)!  We have a leaf blower/vacuum.  The vacuum sucks the leaves up and mulches them.  I use this mulch to cover my flower beds in the fall (after frost, before and you are inviting mice and voles).  The leaves help protect your gardens in the winter, and come spring the leaf mulch breaks down into a good compost.  So instead of burning leaves or sending them all to your local landfill use them to mulch your flower beds.

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Comment by Bob (Z9B Florida) on October 16, 2011 at 8:28am
Leaves alone are sometimes referred to as leaf mold, especially when saved in bags and the fungal action (different than mircobial action of composting) takes place.  As Catherine suggests, when applied, this is really mulch of low Nitrogen value vs. compost. Adding them into the soil also effects the soil tilth initially and then as the worms take over (and poop) you get the real value of the leaves.  Added to a compost pile made up of greens and carbons, where the microbial action is part of the breakdown is where you get some great compost.   At least that's what I think.  :)
Comment by Joan *Flower Angel*.. Z-8 on October 15, 2011 at 10:40pm
GOOD ADVICE... I HAVE USED LEAVES FOR YEARS... I ALSO BUILD MY FLOWER BEDS WITH LEAVES... I ADD FERTILIZER TO THE LEAF BEDS TO KEEP SNAKES OUT.
Comment by Jennifer P (hostageek) on October 15, 2011 at 9:40pm
My mom always takes a couple bags of our leaves and let's them sit for a year or so, then uses them to mulch/compost her vegetable garden.

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