University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System: Water Quality and the Home Landscape

Leaf Litter

A Rich Part of the Ecosystem

Leaf litter is dead plant material that has fallen to the ground. The litter provides habitat for small animals, plants and fungi. As litter decomposes, nutrients are released to the environment. This efficient recycling system helps to allow plants to take root and grow.

Placing fallen leaves into adjoining wooded areas or planting beds helps to conserve moisture and, encourage the microbe growth needed to release nutrients for use by other plants. Recycle the leaves that have fallen on your lawn area by mowing them in-place. The cut-up leaves will fall to the base of the grass plants and gradually release nutirents to the lawn.