What you should be doing with your leaves
Don’t rake them and have them picked up
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s a yearly pain: dealing with leaves that build up in your yard and garden. We all have to deal with it. The question is how should we be dealing with it?
That’s a subjective question in all honesty, but there are some things you can do with your leaves after they fall that are beneficial.
One is using them as an addition to your mulch around any bushes, flowers or shrubs you have. Another is using them as a fertilizer for your yard. The good news? Each requires nothing more than a typical lawn mower.
When you have a layer of leaves covering your yard, whip out the mower and simply run over them until you see mainly dime-size pieces of leaf. It may take more than one round of mowing, but it shouldn’t be much more than that.
When you finish be sure that you can see about 50% of your grass because you don’t want it to be completely covered by leaves. Grass covered by a layer -- especially a thicker layer -- of leaves can harm or kill patches of grass.
Eventually the leaf pieces will decompose and act as a fertilizer for your lawn, helping it look healthier by springtime. That’s thanks to the nitrogen in the leaves. In fact, there may be enough nitrogen in mowed leaves that you don’t have to really fertilize separately.
Any extra leaf pieces you have can easily be bagged and put in your garden or mulchy areas. Or you can transport all of your leaf pieces to these areas if leaving them in your yard isn’t appealing to you. The same idea holds true with this method: the leaves act as a fertilizer and improve the health of your soil.
Not only do the nitrogen-rich leaves provide health benefits, but they have a positive impact on the environment. This includes insects, critters and microorganisms. The leaf bits can act as a fill-in for areas in your garden that need mulch, you can put them in your compost or you can even surround winter-sensitive plants with them.
By using as many leaves as possible you will save time, effort and money that you’d spend on bagging them. That is always a pain that many dread doing each autumn.
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