October 8, 2019

Alternatives to Bagging Leaves

Fall is a beautiful time of year — we’re enjoying apple picking, warm-colored leaves, and hayrides. However, we’re also seeing the leaves pile up in our yards. Instead of bagging leaves, consider these alternatives to help beautify your landscaping in the spring:

Stop bagging leaves — create natural mulch.

Raking, blowing and bagging leaves can be hard work. Save yourself the back pain from and mulch the leaves in your yard. If you have a newer lawn mower, it may have a mulch setting. Remove your lawnmower bag and start shredding! Mulching leaves feeds and aerates the soil, makes lawns spongier by trapping warmth and moisture in the soil, prevents clogging drains and can lead to beautiful, green grass that will make your neighbors envious in the spring.

Develop compost.

Do you have a compost pile? Leaves are a great addition to your compost as they can assist in the decomposition of other materials. Simply shred the leaves in a mower, add them to your compost pile, top the leaves with a nitrogen-rich item, such as grass clippings, and turn the pile at least once per month to circulate the oxygen. If you want to compost the leaves quickly, turn them every week and add more water.

Use leaves as fertilizer.

Finally, if you don’t want to rake or mulch the leaves in your yard, leave them there! Instead, run your lawnmower over the leaves to chop them up into small pieces. The leaves will supply additional (and FREE!) nutrients to the soil, serve as a natural weed-controller and can trap moisture. Spread the leaves in a thin layer and if you have any extra leaves, rake them up and place them around trees and shrubs.

Remember, never burn your leaves. Smoke from burning leaves releases toxic chemicals, including carbon monoxide, that can increase the risk of a respiratory infection. You may be leaving yourself open to potential liability if the fire gets out of control.

As you’re considering alternative ways to bagging leaves, review other fall maintenance tips to accomplish during the season.

This summary is for general informational use only and may not include all relevant information.