With the changing of the leaves comes their falling. This beautiful red, gold, and orange blanket of leaves on our lawns are pretty to look at and play in, but what should you do with it? Traditionally, we rake our lawns of leaves for aesthetic reasons and bag them for green waste recycling. But is this the best thing you can do for your yard?
Leaving leaves means more nutrients in your soil
One of the benefits of fallen leaves is that they add essential nutrients back into the soil, like nitrogen, when they decay. If your mower has a mulching attachment, go over your lawn with it. This will mulch up the leaves and leave a fine layer of organic material.
Rake up leaves if your tree is sick
Fallen leaves can be refuges for molds, diseases, and pests, so removing all green waste—including leaves- is recommended if your tree is has certain diseases or insects. In doing so, you’ll be preventing the spread of these problems. Make sure to clean all garden tools after clearing away infected leaves.
Leaving leaves could cause snow mold
Snow mold is a cold-weather fungus that affects grasses. It is caused when excess green waste like leaves and long grass traps moisture. The two most common types of snow mold are pink and gray. Symptoms are seen in the spring after the snow melts. So make sure before you put your lawn equipment away, you mow one last time to keep your grass short.
Do not send leaves and other green waste to the landfill
If you decide to rake your leaves and bag them, take them to your local green waste recycler like Hansen’s Tree Service instead of sending them to the landfill. This takes up tons of unnecessary space, and Missouri’s “no yard waste allowed” law means dumping takes more fuel, time, and money to haul green waste to distant landfills.