Making the Most of Falling Leaves
Many of us of a certain age have a childhood memory of raking leaves into large piles and burning them by the roadside. Huddled in the twilight amidst barren trees, the pungent smoke of cherry and oak leaves rising in the first cold air of autumn evokes a very different time. These days not many communities allow leaf burning. If they do a permit is most likely required, Of course burning leaves is a fire hazard and adds pollutants to the air. There are much better ways to make the most of the leaves left littering your yard.
A thick heavy layer of leaves is bad for your lawn, locking in moisture and keeping out fresh air and sunlight. Left unattended can lead to fungal disease, so removing them is important.
Use your lawnmower to chop them up. Most mowers have a mulch setting that will shred them to a reasonable size allowing the lawn to reabsorb the nutrients as a kind of natural fertilizer
Taking advantage of Leaves
You can also use a leaf vacuum to collect them. If you don’t want to use them on your lawn, consider spreading them thinly over your garden and around trees. For best results, and to prevent blowing, turn the top soil once.
Leaves make an excellent addition to your compost. Mulched leaves will decompose more quickly.
As mentioned above, many towns and municipalities have ordinances specific to disposing of leaves, so check with your town hall first. Also, many communities have banned yard waste disposal at local landfills, so be sure to check before you load up your car.
If you have trash pick up before you rake and bag them, find out what kind of bags you should use. Larger paper bags made from recycled paper are available at your hardware store and are biodegradable. If you’re lucky and your town deploys a vacuum truck, your task may be as simple as raking pile along the curbside for easy pick up.
Taking a little extra time to reuse them as opposed to disposing of them at the dump or local landfill is both more efficient and environmentally friendly.
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