Garden Tip 107:

MOWING LEAVES IN FALL

I mow my lawn weekly from mid-October through late October, not to maintain grass height but to shred the fallen leaves. Mowing frequently in early fall keeps the accumulation of leaves on the lawn light enough so that I am able to mow and mulch them in place. Leaving the shredded clippings on the lawn adds fertilizer and organic matter to the soil.

When leaves accumulate more heavily, I mow, mulch and bag the leaves and spread the collected clippings on the nearest perennial bed or shrub border. When there are a lot of leaves to be mulched and bagged, adjusting the wheels on the mower so that the front is slightly higher than the rear aids in collecting the leaves when moving across the lawn.

Later in the season when leaves drop in earnest, I simply move them with a leaf blower or rake and disperse them in the larger shrub borders on the property.  Come spring they are decomposed enough to allow emerging plants to sprout and they soon disappear under a sea of green. Fall is here and we can do as nature does in countless fields and forests, return the leaves to better the land.

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