Don't Destroy Those Fallen Leaves! Use Them Instead
Are you using leaves as part of your lawn care management program? If not, you could be missing out on a valuable resource that saves both time and money. To help you make the most of the leaves that fall in your yard, here are a few key do's and don'ts to apply at home.
1. Do Consider Composting.
Composting uses the organic debris and castoffs from landscape maintenance to help revive that landscape as well. By turning your leaves and other natural materials into organic fertilizer, you then use it to keep the lawn green, flowers blooming, and trees strong. And this also helps reduce backyard chemicals that could harm the environment.
2. Don't Remove all Leaves.
Organic material is good for your lawn's soil, so don't feel that you must eliminate all leaves. Shredded bits of leaves and other organic detritus gets in between the grass blades where they sit and decompose to return nutrients to the ground. Talk with your landscaper about leaving some of this shredded waste on the lawn. They'll help you find the right amount.
3. Do Use Leaf Mulch.
Shredded leaves can also form an excellent natural mulch for garden beds and tree rings. Mulch layers in these areas provide insulation for roots and soil and will eventually decompose to add more nutrients back into the soil. Save enough leaf debris to form layers a few inches thick, particularly during the hottest parts of summer and coldest days of winter.
4. Don't Forget Animals.
Wildlife in your backyard benefits from a bit of leafy overgrowth in the landscape. Leaves often add homes and food sources for insects like snails, worms, beetles, caterpillars, and spiders. While these may not be your favorite species, they're vital for a healthy lawn and landscape. They also serve as food for more beloved species like chipmunks and squirrels, turtles, birds, frogs, and lizards.
5. Do Choose the Right Leaves.
One important caveat when using leaves in your landscape plan is to avoid leaving the wrong ones in place. The leaves of some tree species — such as walnuts or eucalyptus — contain natural chemicals which could stunt the development of other plants or even harm them. Check first with your landscape specialist about the suitability of your specific trees.
Want to know more about using fallen leaves when managing a healthy lawn and backyard environment? Start by meeting with an experienced landscaping service in your area today.