The time is here to be done with the last of those pesky leaves.
If you just can't bag one more leaf or your landscaper has made a final pass at your yard here are a few options to get the job done.
The best way to use autumn leaves is to chop them up first.
Simply use a gas-powered lawn mower set at the highest deck height to mow your leaves into confetti.
A sharp blade and your normal mowing speed works best. Spread the leaves if necessary so they are no more than 3 to 4 inches deep.
It's best to mow when leaves are damp from morning dew. You may have to run over them twice.
Once chopped into small bits, autumn leaves can be used in many ways
• Left in place on the lawn, they act as free fertilizer, returning nutrients and organic matter to the soil. Even a thick layer will not harm the grass. By spring the leaf remains will not be visible and the lawn will return thicker and more luxuriant.
• Spread over top of your perennial beds, fall leaves act as winter mulch, providing an insulating blanket, and they improve soil quality as they break down. Leaves also make good mulch for newly planted bulbs and other fall plantings that may be susceptible to frost heaving.
• In the vegetable garden, till chopped up leaves into the soil. They will decay much more readily over the winter than leaves left whole. In the spring the soil surface will be free of clumps and clods of undecayed leaves so that sowing seeds is less of a chore.
• Cleaning up fall leaves and placing them near your compost pile, ensures that you have an excellent source of “brown material” to help in the composting process. A covered container of chopped up leaves is handy to dip into and scatter over each addition of vegetable matter to the compost pile. The leaves balance the green matter in the pile so that the breakdown of the materials will happen more quickly and thoroughly