Thoughts on Fallen Leaves - by Lois Prevett-McCarthy
Nov 14, 2021
The season for falling leaves is well under way and some parts of the country have lost all their leaves already. There are many differing thoughts on the subject of fallen leaves. They are good and bad. Here are some thoughts:
1. Leaves left on lawns deprive them of light, and can damage them.
2. Leaves left around a house and in gutters and on terraces risk clogging drainage systems such as gutters and should be removed.
3. Leaves that clog a terrace drainage system can cause serious damage if a freeze ensues.
4. Leaves should be cleared away from all systems such a generators, AC systems, pool equipment, etc. Over time, leaves rot.
5. Leaves should be cleared away from the base of buildings: they can cause basement issues as well as facade rotting.
5. Leaves make great compost. In nature leaves left over time decompose and enrich the soil. But contained gardens are unlike natural forests, so accelerating this decomposing by crushing/shredding leaves works wonders. Lawnmowers that shred leaves can fuel nutrients in your lawn.
6. Collecting leaves for a compost bin to make your own compost is wise and minimizes/eliminates huge bags of waste that require transportation.
7. Many neighborhoods have local programs to collect leaves piled up. If you don't have this in your area, maybe a good way to connect with owners?
8. If you have a larger garden, leaving leaves in place is beneficial to eco-systems by providing shelter to insects that over-winter. However, deep layers of leaves in certain areas can prevent moisture reaching shallow roots. Once Spring and Summer arrive, they can also pose a fire hazard in drought prone areas.
9. Wait. Maybe better to wait a while till all the leaves have dropped and rake them on a dry day. While leaf-blowers make the job easier, they are annoyingly noisy and don't deliver the work-out benefits of a good old-fashioned rake! A yard vacuum with a shredder can be very helpful too.
10. When clearing, avoid windy days.....or gauge the wind to help accelerate the process.
Lois Prevett-McCarthy, Realtor®