Leave Your Leaves

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Mulching LeavesDid you know that leaving your leaves in beneficial to pollinators? Pollinators are the beneficial insects native to our area that move pollen from one part of a plant’s flower to another. These insects include honey bees and monarch butterflies. They’re required for certain agricultural crops, as well as our natural ecosystems and urban forests and landscapes. While the monarch butterfly migrates for the winter, many other important insects have evolved to hibernate in the leaf litter. Removing these leaves from your property by bagging them up kills these insects and removes them from the environment. 

Leaving your leaves on your property can save you a lot of time and money. Turf grass can tolerate some leaves left on it over the winter. If it’s too much for the turf, you can just pile the leaves up around the base of trees, or into flower beds. This is a great compromise, and benefits the tree by adding organic matter to the soil. But you can still accomplish the manicured turf aesthetic, a true win win. 

Composting your leaves is another option. Pile them up out of the way and let them break down into a high quality compost we call ‘leaf mold’. The insects will emerge in the spring and leave the pile. Compost does not attract mosquitoes, as they breed in standing water, and leaf mulch does not harbor or attract ticks. For more information visit the website Leave Leaves Alone for tips on improving the ecosystem that is your yard.