Friday, August 3, 2012

Why You Should Recycle Leaves

Recycle the leaves by using them as natural mulch for yard, garden or add them to your compost bin. The nutrients found in leaves will help to nourish your plant, shrubs and trees and will protect your gardens during the winter season. 

If your yard is overloaded with leaves then nominate recruits to help your rake the leaves into a large pile.  Section your yard off and complete one section at a time.  

The leaf pile should be in the center of your yard. Lift the leaves with your rake and put them into your leaf shredder.  The leaf shredder will produce fine leaf mulch.  

If you do not have a lot of leaves in your yard then use a mulching mower to grind the leaves into fine mulch. You may have to run the mower you’re your yard a few times to grind all of the leaves.  The leaf matter will nourish your lawn. 

After a hard frost, cut back your perennial plants. Then apply three to four inches of leaf mulch to your yard and gardens. Surround your plants, trees and shrubs with a thick layer of leaf mulch. The nutrients from the leaves will enrich the soil and will protect the plants from the snow and ice.

For container gardens, add 2 to 3 inches of dried leaf mulch to your container. Next, add the compost and then plant your flower. The plants roots will feed off the leaves nutrients for up to two years.

More reasons why you should recycle leaves:

Benefit from dried  autumn leaves by using them to  light your fire pit or campfire. The dried leaves are natural tinder. 

For a medium size, fire pit add two handfuls of leaves to the center of your fire pit, top the leaves with dried sticks. Next, set your firewood up like a tee-pee with leaves and sticks in the center. This setup will allow the air to circulate and your fire will start quickly.

Here is a You Tube video that will show you how to make natural leaf mulch:

  • Store the leaf mulch in an airtight container and keep in a cool dry area.  Add the leaves to your compost bin as needed.
  • Many recycling centers offer complimentary leaf mulch for homeowners to use in their yards and gardens. Call your recycling center for more information.
  • If you are bagging your leaves, then mulch the leaves first.  Leaf mulch takes up less room in yard bag or container than whole leaves.

  • Remove the leaf mulch from irises and garden beds in early spring.  By removing the leaves you will prevent borers and snakes.
  • Refrain from vacuuming wet leaves.

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