Well autumn is upon us and those of us in the colder regions will soon have a yard full of leaves. These colorful leaves are admired on the branches, but on the lawn they’re considered an eye sore to most. Ridding your lawn of leaves can be quite a chore. Many people just want them gone and dispose of the leaves in wasteful ways. Have you ever walked outside on a crisp fall day and got a nose full of foul smoke. The neighbors are burning leaves again. Not only is burning leaves a waste of good organic material but it creates air pollution. Even bagging your leaves is a waste of time, effort and free landscaping goods. If you insist on wasting all this foliage them please give it to your local compost site in stead of burning it or trashing it. Don’t look at the fallen foliage and think “burden”. You now have a yard full of free compost and mulch. With a little work these leaves can be recycled for the growing season.
One of the easiest ways to pick up leaves is with your lawn mower bag. Not only will this pick up leaves but it will chop them as well. Home improvement stores also sell lawn sweepers and leaf blowers that are both good investments for fall chores. If you don’t mind a little sweat you can go the old fashioned route and rake your lawn. Whatever your preference, this is the unavoidable step in clearing your yard of leaves- the “pick up”.
Now that you’ve gathered the leaves up, what will you do with them? One of the easiest choices is to create a leaf compost pile. Simply put the leaves in pile or a separate compost bin and let the composting begin. If you have a compost bin in use you may not want to add leaves to it; they take longer to break down than other organic material and can slow the composting process. Allowing your leaf pile to be exposed to the elements will help it along faster. When the leaf compost is ready, you can mix it with soil or your other compost. Next spring your garden will thank you for these extra nutrients.
Mulch is another great benefit of fallen leaves. Chopping the leaves first with a mower works best. Just apply the leaves around your bushes and perennials like any other mulch. It is also a good idea to put mulch around the trees in your yard. This option is easy because you won’t have to travel far. Simply run over the leaves with your mower and rake them toward the tree as far in as you desire. This is nature’s way of feeding the trees anyhow and nature knows best. This mulch will break down faster than what you buy, but that also means it will distribute nutrients to your plants faster. Free mulch and plant food, isn’t’ that awesome.
So this fall when your yard fills up with leaves I hope that you take advantage of what nature is giving you. Recycling leaves not only cleans up your yard but it gives you organic material to improve your flora.