We all hate raking leaves. It is hard work. Its time to “Leave” the work to your mower.
Leaves are a crop that needs to be harvested, used, and enjoyed. If this is not how you feel about leaves, then you are doing it wrong. If you watched a farmer bag up their crop and throw it away, you would have something to say about it. What a waste of time, money, and effort.
You need to attack the leaf issue smarter not harder. Come up with a plan that uses your mower, aerator, mulch bin, blower, and tools smarter.
Leaves are free and the perfect natural nutrient for your lawn and gardens. Mulched and shredded leaves are perfect for winterization. Not only will they supply nutrients to the soil, but they also protect helpful microorganisms and pollinators. Mulch prevents erosion.
Lately I have noticed folks raking up their leaves and placing them into plastic pumpkin bags for their holiday décor. Now that they are bagged, don’t throw them out. Make a trench in your garden and dump them in. Cover with the soil you just moved, and let nature do the rest. This spring, you can take a garden aerator and mix the rotted mulch into the soil.
Commercial lawn fertilizer is pricey. $20 for 5,000 square feet is a bargain. Leaves are free and won’t harm insects, people, and pets. They work especially well over the fall and winter.
Mulch bins will not only deal with leaves, but you can also add kitchen wastes to the mix. If you pitchfork or turn the mulch, it will rot in 3-6 months. If the leaves are mulched and bagged, using your mower, then added to the mulch bin, you can plan on adding them to the garden and shrubs next spring.
Using a mulching blade on your power mower works great. I first use a leaf blower to clear garden and rock islands of leaves. I can more evenly spread them around the yard, where I can let the mower do the work. A couple of passes, and the leaves are now small enough to stay in the lawn and not blow away.
If you collect mowed mulch, add it around your rose bushes for insulation over the winter.
You don’t want thick mats of leaves that cover the lawn. If you mulch your leaves correctly, you may not notice them. If the wind blows your neighbors leaves back into your yard, break out the mulching mower again.
Work smarter and cheaper not harder!