The leaves are finally beginning to fall around town, indicating that cooler weather is almost here to stay. One of the biggest chores I face in fall is gathering these fallen leaves up and figuring out what to do with them. It’s such as continual process of having to clean the leaves out of my yard that I want to know those leaves are being utilized for something productive. Fortunately leaves can serve as an excellent source of nutrients for my spring gardening if used the right way. Incorporating leaves into your fall mulching can benefit the soil by adding rich organic matter back into the soil. In order to receive the most benefit out of these leaves it is best to grind them thoroughly with a lawn mower and then incorporate them into shredded wood mulch. Leaves are naturally a great source of nitrogen, but in order for this nitrogen to be let off it much interact with a carbon source, which is where the shredded wood mulch comes into play. The shredded wood mulch also helps to hold down the ground leaves, which have a tendency to be picked up by any wind that comes through the area. By spreading this mixture over your flower beds, garden areas and plant roots and bases you will have an excellent organic matter in the spring to incorporate into the soil and it will help insulate the soil throughout the winter against ice and wind chill. An inexpensive solution to a leaf-free yard and richer soil in the Spring; a win-win!