Leaf Me Alone: Keep your leaves in your yard


As the leaves finish falling, it is important to remember that they contain nutrients that are good for the soil. Many will use time or money to rid our lawns of leaves, but keeping leaves nearby is a simpler, more environmentally-friendly solution.

Here are some ways to make the most of leaves:

• Mulch leaves in place. Shred your leaves with a lawnmower and leave them on your lawn. It’s faster and easier than raking or leaf blowing and adds nutrients to the soil.

• Add shredded leaves to your garden and landscaping. Shredded leaves can be used as mulch to help prevent weeds and keep moisture in the soil. The leaves will also slowly release nutrients into the soil.

• Save your leaves for composting. Fall allows us to collect and store a great carbon-rich source for our compost pile and that’s leaves. Leaves balance out nitrogen-rich materials in your pile like food scraps and grass clippings. One of the biggest challenges to composting food scraps at home is the release of water into compost piles as the food breaks down. One of the best ways to fix this is to add leaves every time food scraps are added. (Compost tip: shredded leaves absorb water better than whole leaves). 

• Insulate compost bins for the winter. Place leaves around and on top of the compost bin. This will insulate the bin and allow the material to continue to break down throughout the winter. In the spring, there will be fresh compost without waiting for the pile to thaw out, and the leaves can be added to the spring compost pile.


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