Before and after

Instead of blowing your fallen leaves out to the curb this year, use them to fertilize your lawn. It’s really, really simple. All you have to do is mow (or order your lawn-care service to mow) without using the leaf-catching attachment. The mower will chop the leaves into very small pieces that will break down quickly, returning nutrients back to the soil.

These pictures of the same area of lawn were taken this morning, before and after mowing:

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Before mowing . . .

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. . . and after

These are leaves of Norway maple trees, which are tougher and leatherier than those of many other species, but they respond very well to this treatment. Try it this year. Why throw away the fertility of your soil?

For more ways you can use your leaves to improve your landscape, see my latest Backyard Environmentalist column, or google the term “leave the leaves.”

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