It is mid-autumn and the trees have pretty much shed their leaves. Now is the time to clean them up. Many people will blow them into piles, pack them into bags, and wait for them to be picked up curbside. However, there are greener methods to managing leaf cleanup. Let’s review some strategies.
Rake Rather than Blow
Put the gas blower away and get the rake out. Blowers create a great deal of noise and air pollution. Raking has the added benefit of engaging you is some cardio exercise. You can still pack the leaves up in bags if your town has a leaf collection service. Use designated brown paper leaf bags instead of plastic. These will eventually break down.
Allow Some Leaves to Remain
You don’t have to rake up all of the leaves. Allowing a thin layer to remain will protect grass and provide refuge for beneficial insects and reptiles. You can mow your lawn so that the leaves are crushed and not likely to blow away in a strong wind. If mowing, consider using a rotary hand mower that doesn’t run on gas.
Add Leaves to Your Compost Pile
Composting is one of the greenest activities you can do. If you aren’t exactly sure how to compost, it is actually quite easy. Composting is basically placing table scraps and yard refuse, such as leaves, into a pile or specialty hand operated tumbler and allowing it all to break down over time. This yields rich, organic material that is loaded with nutrients, such as nitrogen. This material can be used to feed your gardens. A composted leaf pile is referred to as a leaf mold.
If you don’t have space for a compost pile, check with your municipality for a communal composting area where you can dump the leaves.
Mulch with Fallen Leaves
You can use leaves as a protective mulch around shrubs and in gardens. Mulch can provide protection for roots in cold weather. It also helps to keep weeds and invasive species under control. Similar to compost, leaf mulch will eventually break down and nourish the soil. You can chop up or shred the leaves prior to using them as mulch so they stay in place.
As you can see, there are options for dealing with foliage that has fallen to the ground in autumn and winter that are eco-friendly. You will be contributing to a greener and quitter world if you rake, compost, or mulch your leaves.