Chopped Leaves Are Free!
When you are looking for some appropriate organic material to add to the soil on your property, the very best are the very leaves that fall from our trees each autumn. Whether they are leaves from the Oak or the Maple or from any other tree or shrubs, leaves have been the standard soil amendment in the forest for millions of years.
Leaves Are Ice Cream For Earthworms
Leaves can be used as a mulch on top of the soil or they can be worked into the soil in some manner. Either way they become food for the earthworms and the soil microbes and the soil gets better in many ways.
Leaves Need To Be Chopped
Ideally the leaves should first be chopped up with some machine. Whole leaves used as mulch can mat up and hinder the even access of water to the soil. You can chop leaves with a mulching lawn mower or you can use an electric leaf shredder that looks like a big string trimmer inside of a barrel. All dedicated chipper/shredders will chop leaves just fine.
If you don't have trees, drive around the neighborhoods in September and October and collect the plastic bags filled with leaves that are left for the trash men to pick up. You can never have too many leaves to add to the soil on your property.
Acidic Leaves End Up Neutral
Folks that know that oak leaves in their raw form are quite acidic with a pH at 6.0 or lower. They can be used as any other leaves because after they are decomposed the resulting humus is near neutral at 6.8.