My gratitude goes out to all the local Acer macrophyllum that help us put our new young nut trees, flower and vegetable rows to rest this time of year.
The leaves of the big leaf maple are nature’s perfect mulch for wet coast climates. They contain high concentrations of potassium and calcium – which are minerals that are easily leached out of our soils by months of heavy rains. We top our leaf mulch with a fine layer of deciduous wood chips and that keeps the leaves from flying around all winter. By early summer the mulch has broken down substantially and we re-mulch with what we’ve coined ‘heaven’s blend’: composted wood chips, leaves and manures (chicken, horse or alpaca). We only have a handful of maples on the property, and they are nowhere near our growing beds, so our leaf supply comes from off site by the truck loads to feed our twice annual mulch festivities.
Here’s to Acers… and our good working relationship with a property maintenance professional whose clients hate fall leaves!