Please leave the leaves

The benefit to the garden soil is great. The "mess" is visible only for a few weeks until plants grow through and cover the leaves, which will decompose.

Yes, even the oak leaves that resist winter rot do decompose by summer.

Yes, even the tiny plants do come up through leaves.

Where leaves do mat badly (often that's an indication of other trouble such as poor drainage!) simply poke the mat to loosen it, or tear it into pieces -- the plants will come through.


Below: Trillium, pink spears of Polygonatum species (Solomon's seal), tiny spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) and paddle-leaf, blue-tone Virginia bluebell foliage (Mertensia virginica) all come through thick oak leaves in the woods. No one rakes there yet the plants are happy and healthy. In our gardens, trillum seedlings are most abundant where oak leaves are thickest and provide a bit of extra protection from spring frost!

LvLvsTrillium5815s.jpg LvLvsSolmnSeal0455s.jpg

LvLvsSprBeauty0681s.jpg LvLvsMertensia4407s.jpg