Each fall, it seems as though everyone has a different opinion on the best way to dispose of leaves. Is it quicker to bag or to mulch? What should you do if there is no city-mandated leaf pickup? Should you shred leaves before hauling them away? Because every yard and leaf removal situation is different, no one method is correct. There are, however, various factors that will help you determine which leaf disposal method is best for you.
How to Dispose of Leaves: Mulching
When dealing with light leaf coverage, consider mulching leaves with your lawn mower. Simply mow your lawn as you normally would, chopping leaves as you go. Along with grass clippings, finely-chopped leaves will naturally decompose, allowing nutrients to reach your soil and improve the health of your lawn. Be sure to keep up with leaves as they fall, or you may end up with dense leaf piles that contribute to thatch and do not break down as easily. If this is the case, you may prefer one of the alternative cleanup methods mentioned below.
How to Dispose of Leaves: Curbside Pickup
Many towns and cities offer curbside leaf pickup during fall months, making leaf removal and disposal easy for residents. Research your town’s guidelines to learn if seasonal leaf pickup is available in your area—if it is, invest in a powerful leaf blower to blow leaves onto a large tarp. Drag the tarp to the curb, then wait for your local collection service to show up and take the leaves away!
How to Dispose of Leaves: Bagging
For areas that do not offer open curbside pickup, bagging is a popular and eco-friendly alternative. Using a leaf blower or rake, gather leaves into piles and dispose into paper lawn and leaf compost bags (you can also gather leaves using the vacuum function on certain leaf blowers). Unlike plastic trash bags, compost bags will decompose over time (along with any organic debris you put inside of them). You can also maximize bag space by shredding leaves before disposing of them, compacting yard debris down to a fraction of its original size.
How to Dispose of Leaves: Compost
If you’re looking for a way to speed up leaf decomposition in your own yard, you may choose to add shredded leaves to your compost bin. Use leaves over time as needed to mulch your flower beds for the winter, or fertilize your gardens in the spring.
For more fall cleanup advice, click here to watch our Buyer’s Guide to Lawn and Leaf Blowers. Questions? Click here to contact us or comment below!
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