The falling leaves drift by my window,
The falling leaves of red and gold…
They say that all good things must end someday. Autumn leaves must fall. But don’t you know that it hurts me so, to dump those leaves in to the landfill!
Apologies to Chad & Jeremy, but it’s all too true, autumn leaves must fall. And falling they are, right about now. Your trees are getting ready for winter and you need to get out and do the same. Leaves can be a problem if left on the ground, they’ll smother your grass, cut off all sunlight and turn in to a matted wet mess with snow on top of them. Don’t leave leaves in your gutters either. They’ll clog your downspouts, and they clog storm drains in street gutters. Yes, don’t leave them be, you need to get out and take care of leaves.
There’s the old fashioned way of raking. Low-tech, a little bit of a pain. To make raking easier, try leaf scoops. These are big claw-shaped scoops that really work well to help get leaves from the lawn in to a bag. Even easier is to use a blower/vac. Not those noisy, expensive gas blowers, just get a good electric blower/vac. Toro, Black & Decker & Craftsman models are all available at your local Ace Hardware store. The vacuum features on these really do a nice job of mulching up leaves. This makes it way easier to fit a big pile of leaves in to just a few bags. However, vacuuming up leaves will be real dusty, so don’t wear your Sunday best clothes for it! You may want to wear a dust mask to keep from inhaling too much dust.
So you’re raking, and vacuuming leaves and now you need to bag them to take the leaves to your local recycle center. The best way of doing this is to use Ace Hardware paper yard waste bags. These look like really big grocery bags. They’re tall, hold 30 gallons and stand on their own. Let me repeat that, they stand on their own. Yes, this means you can fill them way easier than the plastic bags you’ve been struggling with for years! Better yet, many recycling centers allow paper bags to be dropped off without dumping them. The bags compost right along with the leaves and yard waste!
I usually take a bag of mulched-up leaves and dump them in my garden. Then I turn the leaves over in to the soil a bunch and let it sit over the winter. Don’t use whole large leaves for this, they may not compost themselves over the winter and be a mess in the spring. I don’t know exactly how this process works, but I always have great garden soil come April!
Please do take your leaves and yard waste to a recycling center. Dumping them in the landfill just creates more fill. They do nothing there. They do not compost or biodegrade. At a recycling center, your leaves will become good soil, completing the cycle that your trees had in mind in the first place. Many cities in Colorado have leaf drop centers this time of year. Check your local city’s web site for information on where you may be able to drop leaves. This can save you time as well as saving the planet. Well, doing your part to save the planet at least. I don’t expect you to save the entire planet yourself!
Wish I didn’t have to go, but I must leave. Thanks, from Pete Moss.