An Impassioned Plea—Mulch Your Leaves
You may have heard it before—rather than blow your leaves away, you’re encouraged to “love ‘em and leave ‘em”—that is, landscapers should use a mulching blade on lawn mowers to chop up the leaves and leave them on the lawn. They should collect some leaves to be spread around plantings, where they disappear quickly into the soil, adding nutrients and providing habitat for pollinators and wildlife.
Benefits of Mulching
Leads to healthier soil by adding nutrients and discouraging compacted soil.
Helps prevent erosion by absorbing water and allowing it to disperse more slowly.
Helps prevent flooding by allowing plants to soak up rainwater; this will become increasingly important as we face more frequent, hard rains due to climate change.
Provides habitat for pollinators, in all their life stages, and many other vital creatures.
Fewer vehicle trips to pick up and dispose of fall leaves
Eliminates the need for leaf blowers, providing a quieter and cleaner environment.
Results in fewer leaf piles that spill over onto neighborhood sidewalks and roads.
Helps protect water quality in our streams, lakes, and rivers by keeping decomposing leaves out of storm sewers.
Reduces labor, time, and materials at both the municipal and the county level which can can help reduce operating budgets.
A small change makes a big difference. Mulching leaves instead of blowing them away may seem like not a big deal, but it has a profound effect on the health of your yard and the creatures that live in it.