Leaf it or Love it
Welcome to the last week of October – where did it go?! By now the leaves have mostly fallen from the trees and, if you’re like some of our more northern folks, have already had a decent snowing.
Your leaves. They’re covering the grass so what do you do with them?
Your First Steps
- Dress warmly! If you have a large area that needs raking, you might be out there for a while. And you wouldn’t want the cold weather to deter you from finishing this very important job.
- Grab a rake. I like to use my Mark’s Choice steel fan rake for this.
- Once you’ve raked the leaves into convenient piles you have a few options.
Your leaves are a huge source of carbon, an important component in healthy plant growth and development. You could bag them and put them to the curb. Or you could take advantage of the gifts that Mother Nature has dropped into your lap…or onto your lawn. Either way, your best bet is to use what nature gives you.
1. If you have a composter, the leaves can go in there. The added carbon will help to break down the other materials.
2. If you don’t have a composter, you can take the leaves and simply lay them in your garden beds. This provides excellent winter insulation and again, added carbon.
3. If you have a mulching mower, I suggest using it here: run over your leaves to break them down. Now you can add them to the composter, use them as garden insulation, or you can work them into your garden soil to help create air pockets and increase drainage.
This is one of those things you want to have done before the ground freezes.
It’s also a great job for the kids if you aren’t that inclined.
To you folks who have had snow, don’t think you can use that as an excuse to get out of this outdoor task. It should be motivation to get moving!