Fallen Leaves And Your Landscape — Some Do's And Don'ts

As fall heads toward winter, trees all around your yard are undoubtedly shedding their old leaves. Aside from the joy of jumping in a big pile of these fallen leaves, should you gather them up and remove them? The answer depends. To help you find the right mix of raking and ignoring, here are a few key dos and don'ts for your dead leaves. 

Do Remove Leaves From Hardscape

Fallen leaves have little or no benefit when they're on hardscape — areas like your patio, porch, walkways, and paths. Instead, they're a safety issue. Leaves get wet and slippery very easily, and they cause injury just as easily. Failure to remove hazards like wet leaves may even cause your insurance company to deem you partially liable for claims. 

Don't Leave Too Many Leaves

A few leaves can be great insulation for plants against the cold winter months. But too many leaves could suffocate them. Remove enough fallen leaves that you can see your smallest flowers and shrubs, and spread out what remains in a more intentional manner. 

Do Check Your Soil

Fallen leaves are organic materials that help correct deficiencies in the soil. However, first find out the condition of your soil. Adding organic matter generally increases the pH levels and reduces acidity. However, you may not want this effect if your soil is already quite alkaline or if plants prefer a more acidic environment. Do your research first. 

Don't Forget the Bugs

Dead leaves aren't just good for your plants. They're also often good for beneficial insects and small wildlife. These may not be the most welcome parts of your landscape, but they are important. Fauna replenishes dirt, keeps away unwanted and dangerous insects, and provides food for other creatures. So allow some leaves where the smallest creatures can weather the winter. 

Do Mulch Lawn Leaves

The best move for your lawn may be a more careful leaf plan. Rather than let whole leaves spend the winter on the grass, mulch them into smaller bits over winter. The organic matter helps boost the soil and protect the grass roots, but the small components get where they need to more easily. 

Where to Start

Fallen leaves can be a great part of your overall fall and winter landscape maintenance plan. But it also calls for careful integration, knowledge of what the landscape requires, and attention to safety. Start by meeting with a landscape maintenance professional today to formulate your individual strategy. 

For more info, contact landscape maintenance services.