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Honey Do List: To leave, or not to leave...

Aren’t they beautiful?

One of the most beautiful times of the year in our area is when the leaves change color and, of course, fall to the ground. It’s nature’s annual process of removing the old and recycling matter back into the ground to secure the promise of new life in the spring.

Even though it is a natural process, we humans can’t stand for our lawns and yards to be littered with these discarded tree parts.

So, what do we do with all these leaves? Do we leave them alone or haul them away?

There really are several options for removing leaves, including burning, raking and mulching. If you live in the city, burning is not a very neighborly option—especially on these mild days when folks may have their windows open. Consider raking them up and piling them by the street. The city is out every day with their leaf collection truck, and they will vacuum them up and haul them away. Pile them in such a way that they won’t blow into the street or hinder traffic.

If you really want a clean yard, invest in a mower with a bagger system. This will chop up the leaves as it picks them up, and you can dump the leaves by the street for city pick-up.

How about being more environmentally conscious and letting nature take it’s course? You can rake the leaves up and allow them to rot and decay in garden areas where they become great mulch that will enrich the dirt . Over the winter, mix in food waste and coffee grounds, and soon you will have a very nice start to a mulch pile. In the process you will also be creating a small eco-system where lots of beneficial small animals amd insects can thrive.

Another way to handle this problem is to leave the leaves laying, or mulch them into the yard to provide nutrients to your lawn. Leaves will not kill the grass, unless there is a pretty thick layer. You can always rake down the areas that accumulate deep piles and level it out over your property.

Use great care when using power equipment to remove leaves. Engines and mufflers get very hot very fast, and it’s very easy to start a dangerous fire. Don’t allow leaves to pile up over the mower deck as you work, and clear them away when you finish the job.

Next week we’ll look at some special fall maintenance tips for you and your equipment. Remember, help is just around the corner at your local hardware store.

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