Put Down That Rake!

It’s that time of year. The leaves are turning beautiful autumn colors and coating our lawns, sidewalks, and driveways with a blanket of red, yellow, orange and brown. As usual this incites a flurry of activity. There’s raking, stooping, scooping and bagging to be done. Then there’s the lifting of all those bags into your vehicle and driving them to the city dump. I’m getting exhausted just writing about this whole cycle that we put ourselves through year, after year, after year.

Have you ever stopped and thought about why we do this? What are we really trying to accomplish with all this tiding up we try to do? Isn’t all just going to be covered by a blanket of snow in a month anyway? There’s and easier way and that is to simply let the leaves lie where they fall. Yes! Do nothing! I know, this may be a hard concept to comprehend but it is actually healthier for your lawn and garden if you don’t rake up all of those fall leaves.

If these leaves are left on the ground through the winter they decay. These decaying leaves have vital nutrients, which are eaten up and absorbed by organisms living in the soil. These organisms turn those leaves into food for plant life in your yard and garden. So when you leave your leaves on the ground you feed the soil and contribute to a healthier yard and environment.

Whew! Doesn’t it feel nice to eliminate all that work? Now, if you are worried about matting a simple solution is to mow the lawn and chop up all of those leaves into tinier bits so they decompose faster. If you do feel compelled to rake up all of your leaves then at least don’t bag them and haul all those wonderful nutrients away to the dump. Instead compost them or use them as mulch for veggie and flower gardens. Raking them up into a pile and jumping in them is also acceptable.

Now that I’ve eliminated all this work for you what are you going to do with all that free time?

– Jackie