5 Reasons to Leaf Your Yard Alone
For the Strongest Yard, Love It & Leaf It
If you’re a homeowner who loves looking at fall leaves everywhere but on your lawn, you might want to reconsider…leaving them them alone might actually be the best thing for it! And while not everyone’s a fan of decorative “yard foliage,” leaves aren’t litter – they provide essential food and shelter for thousands of creatures (which in turn, provide food for us!). So here are are 5 reasons to #leaftheleaves in fall:
Free Fertilizer & Mulch For Everyone
Fallen leaves slowly decompose and return nutrients to your yard, so leaving them out essentially acts as a natural and free fertilizer for your yard. It also improves drainage and water retention. If you’re seriously bothered by the look of a leaf-strewn lawn (or the accumulation is over 6 inches), you can always mow/mulch them. This will break down the leaves into tiny pieces so it will appear less “messy” and those nutrients will be returned to your lawn even faster. Simply take the grass catcher off your mower and have at it. Another alternative is to get a standalone leaf shredder or mulcher. Whether you love them and leave them whole, or shred ’em up, fall leaves are the simplest, most natural and affordable lawncare hack for any homeowner.
Dead Leaves = Fewer Weeds
The leaves that fall around the root zones of trees and shrubs helps suppress weed growth that might compete with existing plants. If you prefer a tidier-looking lawn, rake or blow leaves from your main yard into your mulch beds and root zones – you’ll end up spending less time pulling pesky weeds in spring.
Put a Pile to Bed
Planning a new garden bed in your yard? Pile all the leaves in that spot and let it sit all winter. Come spring, the lower layers will have converted to nutrient-rich soil while the top layers will make an easy and effective mulch – perfect for spring planting.
Landfills: No Place for Leaves
The worst thing to do with leaves is bag them and bring them to a landfill. Tens of millions of tons of yard clippings are dumped each year. Tens of millions of tons. And from there, they break down to form methane – a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change (solid-waste landfills are the largest U.S. source of man-made methane). We have enough climate work to do as it is, and there are so many alternatives for disposing of this organic matter. Please, keep them out of landfills.
Animals Live (In) & Love Leaves
There are actually thousands of different animal species that live in and live off of fallen leaves, from birds to bumblebees. One of the best things you can do for pollinators and other animals is provide them the winter cover and food they need by leaving leaves in your yard.
Don’t Light Leaves on Fire
One option not on the table for fallen foliage is burning it. It is illegal to burn leaves anywhere in the state of New York. Burning leaves can spark accidental fires, irritate the lungs (not just yours but your neighbors and others in the area), and it releases dangerous compounds.
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