Experts Advise Not to Throw Away Your Lawn Leaves This Fall
by Ashley Dreiling
You may want to think twice before hauling off your yard’s dead leaves this fall. Experts are touting the benefits of keeping them, including richer soil, improving the local wildlife, and cutting down on environmental waste.
It’s a good idea to get rid of some leaves, just not all of them. If your lawn is covered completely with a thick layer, it will block the sunlight and kill the grass. You want to leave a thin layer to prevent weeds while feeding your soil essential nutrients like nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus, and potassium. The leaves will decompose faster, naturally fertilizing your lawn while helping the ecosystem.
Spiders and worms love the damp, dark environment provided by dead leaves. Keeping the insects around will provide food for the critters higher on the food chain. And because the leaves are natural fertilizers, they decrease the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers, further protecting the animal life cycles.
LEAVE THE LEAVES! It's tempting to be tidy but wild is best for #wildlife. #Hedgehogs need leaves for Winter nests. Leaf piles also offer homes for newts and insects over the colder months. Read my guide to gardening during the golden months:https://t.co/6WLk5BoIOr #gardening pic.twitter.com/n5eYiN9mK4
— littlesilverhedgehog (@littlesilverhog) October 25, 2022
Cutting down on bagging your leaves this year will cut down on environmentally harmful landfill waste. Mowing leaves to create mulch instead of trashing them is a big step toward sustainability if more people considered dead leaves as a natural resource.
Creating a natural mulch system seems to be a no-brainer for lawns, animals, and the environment. The layer of dead leaves prevents weeds and enriches the soil as it breaks down, creating ideal habitats for insects, pollinators, and other animals. There’s no need to buy mulch, fertilizer, or harmful lawn chemicals. Everybody wins!