Leave ‘em Be: Not looking forward to raking, blowing or bagging leaves this fall?
Did you know that leaves are an excellent source of nutrients and organic matter? They can be used to fertilize your plants, your turf, and your trees. They also insulate plant roots and soil during harsh winters, and all while building a better soil structure which improves water retention.
Leaves on the lawn can be shredded with a lawn mower. It’s best to purchase mulching blades or a mulching kit for the mower but regular blades will work too, just be sure to set the deck at its maximum height. Mow the leaves into a central pile then run the mower through it, shredding the leaves into tiny bits. The resulting leaf matter can be spread back onto your lawn, in your garden, or around trees. Be careful not to leave too thick a layer on the lawn or the shredded leaves can smother the growing crowns of grass.
In the spring, remove any excess leaves from your perennials so as not to inhibit their growth. Place this leaf matter in your compost pile. In shrub planting beds and around trees, the leaves can just be mulched over.
So, this fall save time and money by not bagging, hauling or paying someone to take away those precious leaves. Put them to the task Mother Nature intended, free fertilizer.
Source: Chris Baliko, NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and co-owner of Growing Solutions, LLC based in Ridgefield. For more information about organic land and lawn care visit GrowSo.com.