Using Dried Leaves as Mulch

Dried leaves, raking, mulching
Frisco’s Fall Lawn Care

Fall will arrive in a few months, along with the big beautiful mess of leaves littering your yard and driveway. This seasonal event is a mixed blessing, is it not? On one hand, you’ve got a delightfully crunchy collage that’s fun for the kids to play in. On the other hand, you can’t just let it all keep building up.

A pile of dried foliage can attract ticks and fleas, which is a nightmare if they get a hold of your pets or loved ones. And a wet pile of foliage will begin to develop mold and and algae if left sitting for too long Yuck!

So what to do?

Gather up your lawn care tools: a rake, some gloves, your mower, a few trash bags, and maybe a leaf blower for the larger messes. (Here is a great Leaf Blower Guide if you aren’t sure what to purchase.)

Let’s Turn That Mess into Mulch

Whatever you use to gather up the dried leaves and twigs, the most helpful and eco-friendly way to dispose of them is to simply return them to nature, to nourish your lawn. Now of course this isn’t recommended for wet leaves- those just need to go in the trash. But for the nice, crunchy dry stuff, here is how to turn it into mulch.

Once you have all the foliage gathered and bagged up, you want to redistribute it. Spread it out low enough to the ground that you can effectively mow over it. This mean it’s going to need to be fairly thinly parsed out.

If you simply want to chop it up and leave it be for the grass, then go for it, and call it a day! The debris will settle into your grass’s crown, eventually soaking into the topsoil as it breaks down. This is a great way to enhance the mineral content of your soil without spending extra money.

However, if you’d like to use the leaf mulch in another area, you will need a lawn mower with a bag. Once it’s chopped up, you can distribute it throughout your garden bed, around your trees and shrubs, and even in your potted or hanging plants. Again, be sure you use garden gloves to avoid bug bites and sharp twigs!

While mulch can be created from organic materials in your own yard, you can actually order it if your natural resources are limited. There are many mulch delivery services available, who can help you enrich your yard with organic material.

To Review:

  1. Use a rake or a leaf blower (or both) to gather up all the errant leaves in your yard.
  2. Wearing garden gloves for safety, bag them up for redistribution.
  3. Spread a thin layer over your lawn to mow the leaves into mulch.
  4. If you want to mulch the lawn itself, use a bagless mower.
  5. If you want to disperse throughout other parts of your lawn, attach a bag to gather the clippings.
  6. Either leave the clippings in your grass, or place them in other areas to add nourishment.

It really is that simple! If you’ve got a well-canopied yard with mature trees, this may be a process you can repeat multiple times throughout the autumn season. Just remember that this process is only good for dry foliage. Soggy leaves either need to be tossed or added to your compost heap.

Check out Fall Lawn Care Tips for more great ideas on how to take the best care of your lawn and garden this season!

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