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Leaves on the Eastside Hill

Submitted by Editor on October 12, 2010 – 9:13 pm | Print or Email »2 Comments

by Ernie Reppe, Hoover Avenue | Tough to imagine that snow is right around the corner after the recent heat explosion we experienced last week, but it’s the cold hard truth we have to deal with living in Wisconsin!

Before we completely settle in to dormancy, there still are a few things we can do around the yard to prepare for winter—dealing with all the fallen leaves being the most important of these.

There’s no secret tip when it comes to leaf management—the bottom line is that you want to remove leaves from your lawn. Your turf is still growing. In fact, fall is optimal weather for our cool-season grasses, so it’s vital that our lawns continue to receive sunlight. This can’t happen with a layer of leaves blanketing everything. Here are a few leaf-collecting options you have:

  1. Mulch them. By far the easiest option—simply mulch them with your mower, and they will eventually break down into your soil. Avoid mulching large piles. You don’t want to leave behind a film of mulched leaves. Sometimes I’ll spread the leaves over a larger area, or if there are too many I’ll settle for bagging them.
  2. Bag them. This is self-explanatory, but I will point out you should purchase the 30 gallon paper bags for this. They’re self-standing and ideal for composting, and they’re one of the only bags accepted by Veolia and Waste Management during their Fall Yard Waste Pickup (November 1-5).
  3. Mulch and bag them. Perhaps you have too many leaves to mulch and too many to fit inside the 10 free bags allowed during the Yard Waste Pickup. A great way to solve this problem is to first mulch them with your mower so that they break down into smaller pieces and then go over them again but this time with the bagging attachment. You should really be able to pack them into the compost bags once they’re mulched.
  4. Tarp them. For those that dump leaves elsewhere, you can save time by putting them on a tarp instead of in the 30 gallon bags. Get yourself a huge tarp and string a rope through the metal grommets. Load the leaves on the tarp, close it shut with the rope, and easily haul it off to the woods or into your trailer.

Like I said, there’s not really a right or wrong way of dealing with all the leaves. Just make sure you do something and make sure you do it by November 1 so that you can take advantage of the Yard Waste Pickup program. Happy leaf-collecting!

For more lawn talk check out my blog at www.reppelawn.com.

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