As autumn approaches, so does the impending leaf drop that blankets Richmond’s yards. Countless hours will soon be spent raking, bagging, and disposing of leaf material in order to achieve a tidy look. What many do not realize, however, is that leaves serve as a crucial component to the biology of your yard. It’s often better to leave the leaves!
Where possible, consider mowing over leaves in your grass. Shredding the leaves in this fashion prevents heavy piles of material from suffocating the grass, but will allow the smaller particles of shredded leaves to break down. Not only does this make the leaf material smaller and therefore easier to manage, the leaves will help boost your yard’s fertility. If you’re fertilizing your lawn, this is a great natural alternative.
Leaves are an excellent source of organic material for your trees and shrubs as well. If you’re attached to a leaf-free lawn this autumn, instead of collecting the leaves in plastic bags to be tossed to the curb, consider blowing them into your mulch beds and around the base of your trees. Keeping the dirt around your landscape covered with organic material throughout the winter prevents dry compacted soil. As it breaks down, it bolsters your soil’s fertility, which will result in very happy trees and shrubs. If you think your plants may have a fungal issue you should consult an arborist before committing to your free fertilizer. Certain fungal issues found in trees and shrubs can be spread through infected leaves, and should be removed from the property.
This fall, consider utilizing mother nature’s gift to your yard’s health. Not only will it cut down on time and money spent ridding your yard of beneficial material, but your landscape will thank you for it.