Fallen Leaves: Chores Become a Gift

By Adrianna | October 12, 2012

Photo of underside of electric lawn mover

Every year, as trees begin to make their spectacular transformation in the autumn with their mixed patterns of delightful shades of orange, red and yellow, we marvel at their beauty. Once they fall to the ground, however, our feelings towards the leaves change- for the worst. This is mostly true for people who have backyards who them suddenly find their well-groomed lawn covered in large patches of dead leaves. Thus, it becomes a chore, which most don’t take great enthusiasm in doing. However, leaves shouldn’t solely be viewed as ugly, bothersome, dead plant materials invading our yards, but as a gift from nature to be reused in the natural cycle of the growth of plants. This article outlines just a few ways you can use fallen leaves that accumulate in your yard for this purpose.

Since leaves contain up to 80% of the natural nutrients that plants need to grow and thrive, it should come to no surprise to us that we need to be using our leaves to aid plants in growth, not disposing of them. After gathering up the leaves, they can be placed in your compost bin after tearing them up to help them decompose more quickly. Secondly, the leaves can also be used to help improve soil. They can actually be worked right into your flowerbeds and garden. Tiling the leaves in layers of several inches with clay-based soil with help the soil to hold more water. You can also use your leaves for mulching. If you are able, collecting the leaves with a lawn mower with a bag is most helpful. Afterwards, they should be shredded and placed at the base of trees and on top of flower and vegetable gardens. Shredding the leaves is key because if they are laid onto plants unshredded, they will actually smother what lies beneath them. Lastly, the easiest thing you can do is to simply mow over the leaves that fall on your lawn, especially if you have a mulching mower. This technique works best for a lawn lightly covered in leaves.

So, this autumn, when you peer out the window to see those beautiful colors fading and falling to the ground, let the fact that, given the hard work, this somewhat annoying chore can provide great benefits for your lawn and garden.

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