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Reduce, Re-Use, And Recycle | Compost Fall Leaves Into Rich Soil

Updated on February 14, 2015

Quick effective ways to make all those leaves dissappear

Do you see them up there? looking down at you laughing. They're turning all those pretty colors and just waiting to all fall on your nice green lawn. I used to go out there every year, rake them into a bag and drag them out to the curb. Then along came the green movement, now my municipality has made it more difficult to simply throw away the leaves. They had to do something, the landfills were getting to full. They also realized that as the leaves broke down while in the landfill they would release methane, which is considered a greenhouse gas. So best to avoid that situation altogether.

Many municipalities are now offering to pick up excess leaver in paper bags and distributing the leaves to huge compost piles and local farmers.

That's a lot of bags!

Now, let's get something straight... I'm lazy. Three years back when grass clippings were banned from being thrown in the garbage, one of the citys' suggestions was to simply mulch the grass back onto your lawn. The clippings would break down and feed nutrients back into the soil, a natural, free, and easy to apply fertilizer. It eliminates the need of bags, gone are the days of emptying the lawn mower's bag, lighter lawnmover because of the lack of the bag... win, win, win, win. Everyone is happy.

So why not mulch the leaves as well?

That's what I do now and you'd be amazed as to how quickly it breaks down and feeds the soil. Any excess material I simply rake up and either throw on my garden bed, or place at the base of my hedges to help retain moisture. I can also throw the excess leaf mulch into my compost bin giving me rich, dark, sweet smelling soil for next year's plantings.


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      stessily 6 years ago

      Ardot: Thank you for highlighting natural approaches to everyday situations! I always leave grass clippings on the lawn; they degrade quickly, and the lawn is lush and green. When leaves fall, I run through them with the lawn mower for the last mowing or two of the season; the fragmented leaves are left on the lawn all winter, and by spring they're long gone but the grass is healthy, happy, and ready to grow thanks to the nutrients and cover provided by the degrading leaves. I only rake leaves that cluster where the land gullies in front of the shed and then have a wonderful bonfire where the little which I am not able to recycle, reduce, or reuse is also cremated.

      Thanks again for this reminder of how easy it is to adopt natural strategies.