This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Watch Out For The Little Guys

October 22nd, 2011

It’s fall in the northern parts of the country and that means fallen leaves! The leaves pile up in the flowerbeds and form a natural mulch, which I usually don’t mind. I do however have to remind myself to uncover the tiny groundcovers that are growing in certain areas of the garden.

Sadly I lost a Dwarf Creeping Jenny one year because I forgot to keep the fall leaves off of it. This year I replaced it with Corsican Mint, which is doing well, as long as I can remember to keep it clear. I also have quite a collection of teeny tiny creeping thymes that grow no higher than a quarter to an eighth of an inch, many of them filling in between rocks in one of the front flower beds.

Those fall leaves make great organic mulch for your flowerbeds and I love using them everywhere. They do a fabulous job at smothering weeds, but watch out because they can smother plants too. One way to avoid this is to rake them out, chop them up with a mower, and return them to the flowerbeds. They’ll break down quicker and you’ll have fewer problems with slugs that if you leave them whole.

Do you have any diminutive plants in your garden that you make sure to watch out for this time of year? Have you ever lost a plant from smothering by fall leaves or anything else?

7 Comments to “Watch Out For The Little Guys”
  1. goatpod2 on October 22, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Never had a problem with plants being smothered by leaves, etc. though.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  2. Sincerely, Emily on October 22, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Your little plants are wonderful. I have a bit of Elfin Thyme that has really struggled through the summer. I hope it will bounce back now that we have cooled down in the evenings.

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  3. Sarah Bosserman on October 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Lovely little plants aren’t they?
    I miss having them in my garden!

    Reply to Sarah Bosserman's comment

  4. itchbay on October 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I don’t have any ground covers in my garden yet, but I still move the leaves away from plants I want to protect. The leaves seem to bring snails and slugs, and then they discover they like my primroses better than the leaves.

    I just move the leaves to the parts of the yard/garden that don’t have plants in them yet, and let the leaves keep the winter weeds at bay.

    Reply to itchbay's comment

  5. KimH on October 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I havent had any problems with leaves smothering any plants that Im aware of. I do leave leaves in one of the wild areas in my back yard sanctuary though.
    I’d like to plant some little tiny guys like that one.. I’ll have to try it out next year!

    Reply to KimH's comment

  6. MAYBELLINE on October 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    My Scotch Moss had a little trouble with cutworms.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on October 23, 2011 at 7:12 am

      I lost a few Scotch Moss while I was on vacation, not sure if it was cutworms or if they just got too dry.

      Reply to Susy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Taking a Bit of a Breather

The last couple weeks have been a bit crazy around here, with the new job at Ethel and all. I'm...