Fall has swept in once again, and soon homeowners will be faced with the challenge of managing the piles of leaves Middle Tennessee’s beautiful trees are dropping into their yards and across rooftops. Today, we’ve got our top tips for leaf removal primed and ready to share with our dedicated readers. We’ll also discuss the ongoing gardener’s debate over whether we should be removing leaves at all.
In the United States, over 25% of household refuse consists of yard waste, so clearly gathering up leaves and discarding them is the tactic preferred by most Americans. However, many master gardeners encourage homeowners to consider what else they can do with the bounty that descends on their yards every year. If you’re interested in finding an earth-friendly solution for your fallen leaves, here are the top three recommendations:
1.) Bag Them for Later Use
Once fallen leaves are fully dry and crunchy, they’re ready to be shredded. These shredded leaves can be bagged and stored for use as nutritious mulch in the spring. Once you’ve mulched your yard in this way for several years, you should see a major reduction in crabgrass and weeds while your intentional plants and flowers thrive!
2.) Compost for Spring
If you’ve got too many leaves to store, you may have what it takes to start a leaf compost pile. While this solution will result in the most nutrient-rich product to enhance your yard’s health, it also requires more effort than our other suggestions.
Leaf composting is a bit more involved than simply piling up leftover leaves and walking away, and it’s more complicated than we can fully explore in today’s post. However, if you have the time to devote to turning your compost, monitoring moisture levels, and combining compostable ingredients over time, you’ll likely find that your compost bin yields such good soil that you’ll be happy to throw your leaves in year after year.
3.) “Leaf” a Layer Be
The feasibility of this option will be dependent upon factors like homeowner’s association rules, personal preference, your home’s specific location, and neighbors. With that being said, allowing parts of your yard to remain scattered with reasonable amounts of shredded leaves can be a great way to make use of nature’s nutrient recyclers that so graciously fall right into your lap every autumn.
Leaving a light layer of dry, shredded leaves will provide nutrients for your lawn and shelter for beneficial insects and many benign small animals. Additionally, many homeowners feel their yards can benefit from a few beautiful pops of color (that fall leaves are notorious for) during the interminably drab winter months.
If you’re worried about your neighbors getting tired of seeing messy leaves in your yard, remember that come spring, these shredded leaves will have decomposed completely and will no longer be visible.
Full Leaf Removal
Despite the benefits of reusing fallen leaves, there are definitely a number of perfectly good reasons to remove leaves from your yard. If you’re in search of a spotless solution, we have a number of tips just for you.
1.) Rake It In
The most classic of all leaf management techniques, raking is seeing a resurgence in popularity. Most alternatives to raking involve fuel or electricity, contribute to noise and atmosphere pollution, and require expensive, heavy equipment. Raking is great exercise, too, so consider going the old-fashioned route this autumn!
To make it easier to move your raked-up leaves, consider piling them up on a tarp or into a durable bag.
2.) Yard Vacs and Leaf Blowers
If you’re short on time or have a large plot of land you’re clearing often, a rake probably isn’t the best tool for the job. A leaf blower will allow you to blow leaves into a large pile, while a yard vac bags leaves automatically.
Those homeowners dealing with a spacious yard or a particularly dense layer of leaves should note that a yard vac may require you to take frequent breaks to empty or replace the leaf collection bag. In such cases, a leaf blower may be the best option.
3.) Check Rooftops, Gutters, and Drains
Whether or not you decide to banish the leaves from your lawn, it’s vital that you thoroughly remove them from your home’s rooftop, roof gutters, and all drains. While a lawn benefits from decomposing leaves, a roof deteriorates.
You can extend your roof’s lifespan, reduce damp and cold, and eliminate a major source of mold and leaks simply by consistently clearing leaves, moss, and other debris.
Furthermore, removing leaves from drains surrounding your home will help reduce your risk of flooding when torrential rains arrive.
Thank you for visiting Parks! If you are looking for the perfect home to call your own this fall, contact us today.