Wednesday, 17 October 2012

So Much Mulch!

The Spark:
Every autumn, the leaves of deciduous trees fall to the ground.  The word deciduous means "falling down."  If the trees did not drop their leaves in the autumn, they would dry out during the winter and die.  Deciduous trees such as maple, hickory and oak have broad, flat leaves that soak up a lot of sun.  In the spring and summer months, when trees are making food, the leaves are filled with green colouring.  In autumn, when the trees not making food, the green colouring breaks down and you can see the yellow and orange colours  underneath.  These colours were there all along!

Create Your Own Miniature Deciduous Forest Diorama

Leaves on the ground are called leaf "litter."  They are viewed as messy and they usually smother plants growing under deciduous trees.  But how sensible is it to plant something where you know it is going to be smothered by falling leaves every autumn?  If you avoid planting anything under deciduous trees, after a rainy day in autumn, the leaves will become matted and stay in place.  Leaf litter performs a valuable service for trees and wildlife.  The leaves decay, and numerous organisms feed upon them, making their nutrients available to the tree from which they fell.  Nature constantly recycles matter and wastes nothing.  If you must rake up leaves, add them to a compost pile.

Super Natural Child: Superheroes ACTIVATE!  Are you interested in leaves?  Follow this spark and start your quest to find out more.  Your quest begins with a WHY?

Start Your Quest:
Why:  Keep leaves in your backyard to recycle natures nutrients back into the ground for the trees as well as for wildlife.
What:  Leave the leaves on the ground or create a leaf compost pile
Where:  On a non-grassed area of your own backyard
Who:  You, your friends and family.  Make sure your parents help you on this one
When: As soon as you see the autumn leaves falling
How:  Watch the video below to find out how.  It's a S.N.CH.!  Or is it?

Take Action:

Make a Leaf Compost Pile From Chicken Wire

Curious George- Mulch Ado About Nothing- PBS Kids

Keep Going:
Don't stop here!  Keep researching and exploring leaves.  Drop us an email if you have a hunch about something and we'll give it a whirl and get back to you.

Quest Check: 
 Keep checking back with us on a regular basis to see if your interests match our quests.

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