Fall is upon us and the leaves have started to drop. What should you do with all those leaves? Should you rake them up and place at the curb? Should you leave them on the ground? What exactly is the best course of action for cleaning up fall leaves?
Instead of picking up and piling leaves at your curb, why not try mulching your leaves? Using your mower, slowly go over the leaves in your lawn 2 or 3 times until your leaves are finely shredded. The small leaves will make there way down between the grass blades so they are not sitting on top of the grass. Micro-organisms in the soil as well as worms will help break down the leaves adding nutrients back in to the soil. The finer the leaves are cut the better. Homeowners will spend less time on raking up leaves and may actually help reduce weed germination in your lawn the following year.
If you still have too many leaves in your lawn after mulching them over, try spreading them throughout your garden beds. Nutrients from the leaves will be added back in to the soil around your plants. Chopped up leaves will also help to protect your perennials from the cold winter.
Ever thought about starting a compost bin? It’s easy and simple to do. Start by taking some of those leaves and putting them in a 3’x3’x3′ bin. Do not use Oak leaves as they are difficult to break down. Start adding food scraps such as egg shells and banana peels. You can also throw in grass clippings and green weeds. Turn and mix every 3-4 weeks and by May, you’ll have a rich, nutrient filled compost that you can sprinkle around your plants.
Still have some leaves left over? Use them for holiday decor. Scarecrows can be filled with leaves in lieu of straw. Ghosts can be made by filling up white trash bags and painting on a ghoulish face. Bio-degradable bags can be sketched with a pumpkin face so now your leaf bags are pumpkin decor.