Make a plan to leave leaves alone, let them mulch in place

Monday, September 24, 2012
by Maxine Margo Rubin

Autumn’s just begun.  Have a talk now with yourself—or your lawn care person—and make a plan to let Mother Nature run her course:  Instead of blowing and bagging leaves, put the leaves raked from your driveway and other areas into the woods and let compost happen!  Or use a mower or mulching attachment that lets the chopped leaves fall in between the blades of grass and disappear into the lawn.

Traditional leaf removal generates unnecessary use of fossil fuels in trucking leaves to composting facilities—but allowing leaves to mulch recycles nutrients into your soil, helps return moisture in the summer, and reduces the need for additional fertilizer.

So, leave leaves alone, and have a magic carpet of green in the spring. For information on mulching in place go to or the Cornell Cooperative webpage  The County also encourages mulching in place:

Maxine Margo Rubin is member of New Castle’s Sustainability Advisory Board.

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Of course, mulching leaves works, but it takes a long time.  In the meantime, leaving them in the woods can create quite a mess.  I did buy one of the compost containers from the town and have been putting most of my leaves there for the last few years.  I think this is a better solution, but I would still expect the town to pick up the excess, as well as other yard waste.

By Geoff on 09/24/2012 at 8:58 am

I’ve been mowing my leaves into my lawn with a cordless electric mower for years since I fired my lawn guys.
I’m saving TONS of money, I enjoy the great smelling walking workout in my yard and my lawn is healthier than ever.
It works, its better for your health, the air, our streams and waterways and our wallets.
There is no downside to this practice.

By leaf mulcher on 09/28/2012 at 8:49 am

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