Mulch your way out of the mess!
We love Colorado’s fall color, at least until it’s ankle deep in our yards. That’s when beautiful fall color looks more like a mountain of work.
What’s more, the leaves from your yard combined with those from yards across the country add 8 million tons of fallen leaves to landfills each year per intel from National Audubon Society.
There are better ways to deal with leaves.
Repurposing leaves in your own yard not only keeps them out of the landfill, but provides health benefits for the yard. Here are 3 low-effort ways to keep the value contained in fallen leaves close to home.
#1 – Mow them and leave them. CSU Extension points to research that mowing over leaves a few times to create a fine layer of leaf mulch can help decrease turf weeds in the lawn. Bits of leaves fill in the little gaps in the turf where weed seeds would otherwise land and germinate. The study they cite showed a 100% decrease in crabgrass and dandelions after 3 years.
Mulching lawn clippings throughout the growing season and leaves in the fall also reduces the amount of fertilizer needed by the lawn. Using a broom or power blower to push leaves from hard surfaces onto the lawn before mowing helps deliver full value from all your leaves.
Extension’s tip: Set the mower blade as high as possible and make sure you can still see some green grass after mowing. Mow more than once, if needed, to keep grass blades visible.
#2 – Mulch veggie garden and perennials. Use the bag attachment on the mower to catch leaves shredded by the lawnmower. It is a natural and no-cost mulch to place in the veggie garden and around perennials, bulbs and shrubs.
#3 – Compost. Add leaves to your own compost bin or if you don’t compost, share them with a neighbor who does.
By not raking, bagging and dumping, you have saved some personal time and energy plus done your part to lighten the 8 million tons of leaves that could hit the landfill this year.
That’s a low-impact step in terms of our personal energy that generates high impact sustainable results. Mower mulchers, be proud!