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What is leaf mulching? Leaf mulching is the practice of chopping leaves into small pieces. Mulched leaves can be left on your lawn, as they fall between the grass blades and disappear, or piled 3″ or 4″ deep on garden beds and around shrubs where they act as a protective layer in the winter and, in the growing season, prevent weed growth and help conserve water. Leaf mulch decomposes over time, and adds important nutrients and structure to the soil.