Autumn leaves remain on the property; are not burned or bagged


What is this?

The autumn barrage of fallen leaves stays on your property. They remain on your lawn (mowed or mulched to aid in their decomposition) or they have been moved to your garden beds, shrub beds or compost area.

How do I do this?

On my own

Perhaps one of these ideas will work for your situation:

  1. Simply leave the leaves where they fall in your landscape beds. Wait for the following spring before doing any clean up and consider leaving some areas with full leaf litter for wildlife. 
  2. If the leaf layer is not too thick, try mulching (mowing) the leaves where they land on your lawn. After being cut into small pieces, they quickly break down into the soil. This is one of our favorite tricks.
  3. You can add whole leaves directly to compost pile or, for quicker results, mulch (mow) them into smaller pieces first.
  4. Buy an electric leaf shredder (consider sharing the cost with a neighbor or two) and use the leaf bits either as mulch or as an addition to your compost pile.

Hire some help

If you hire landscapers to mow your lawn or do autumn landscape clean-up, ask them to follow the same guidelines as above.  Good communication is important so they understand what is expected. 

Why is this important?

Fallen leaves are a valuable resource for both us and nature. Leaves protect plant roots from freezing and desiccating weather. Decomposing leaves add organic matter and important nutrients back to the soil. Songbirds looking to feed their young in spring will find needed insects there. Also, many animals use leaves to make nests.

Burning leaves lowers air quality, and is banned in many communities.  Bagged leaves which are taken off site use fossil fuels. Fallen leaves are a great source for making compost in your own garden. Depending on your yard, your labor might also be significantly reduced!

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