How do you go green with all those fall leaves? With many state and local regulations banning fall leaves from landfills, many homeowners are in a quandary. Burning leaves isn’t good for air quality, and is also banned in most urban and suburban locations.
Compost may be a solution if you either bag and cart the leaves to the local composting station or have your own compost setup large enough to handle your trees’ leaf fall. This can be very time consuming if you have a lot of trees to care for. For some people none of these are feasible.
There is another solution that will be healthy for your lawn, safe for the environment and save you time and money (all magic words of in the world of sustainability). Mulch those leaves with your lawn mower.
Leaf mulch will act as a slow release fertilizer for the lawn as the leaves decompose over the winter. You can reduce the need for chemicals by up to 50%.
Michigan State Study
A study at Michigan State University Horticulture Department asked the question “What effect does mulching leaves with a rotary mower have on the turf, both short-term and long-term?”
They found that mulching leaves with a mulching lawnmower is not harmful at all to turf grass if it is done at the proper times,
This study showed no appreciable increase in turf thatch or how much organic material was found in the thatch. The turf quality rating was not adversely affected and they didn’t find any increase in dandelions. In other words they found no harmful effects to the lawn, with the proviso that the mulching is done at the proper time.
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