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Leave Those Leaves Alone!

Your raking days are over! Shredded leaves left on the top of your lawn return valuable nutrients back into your grass and feed the microorganisms that keep your soil healthy.

Below is a message from Michaela Zeuss, Chair, Mamaroneck Village Committee for the Environment.

Nothing’s more beautiful than autumn leaves – until it is time to rake them. But what few people know is that you don’t have to gather up your leaves in and send them to the municipal compost facility. In fact, recycling your leaves at home saves time and tax dollars, and will help your garden become healthier.

Shredded or “mulched” leaves simply left on the top of your lawn return valuable nutrients back into your grass and feed the microorganisms and worms that keep your soil healthy, just like a natural organic fertilizer.  If you can, get a mulching mower (one fitted with a blade that chops leaves into small pieces) but any other mower works, too. Simply mow your lawn twice to ensure the leaves are properly shredded into pieces about the size of a quarter.

Most of the leaves will fall back into the grass and decompose, taking the place of commercial fertilizer. The wind will carry the rest into shrub borders where they will protect plant roots from severe cold. 

The best time to shred the leaves is when it’s dry and you can still see some of your grass peeking through. If you have too many leaves, use the extra mulched leaves to cover bare soil in your garden, the flower beds and vegetable gardens, or simply use them in for your compost pile along with kitchen scraps and other organic material.

For more information about mulching leaves or other environmental issues affecting our community, please visit the Committee for the Environment website at www.mamaroneckgreen.org.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Peter Schmidt November 28, 2012 at 11:33 PM
There is much more (in depth) information about leaving the leaves at this link; http://www.leaveleavesalone.org/ and a Facebook page dedicated to this management practice; http://www.facebook.com/LeaveLeavesAlone Peter Schmidt, www.compostwerks.com
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