Leave Your Leaves, Part 2

For two years, I’ve managed to convince the guys who mow the lawn to mulch the beds with leaves and to dump the rest of them in the compost bins. Trained to make every front and back yard as pristene as possible — and known around here as “Mow, Blow and Go” gangs — they’re not happy about it. But they do it. I can’t get them to chop up the leaves and leave them in the lawn, though — yet.

It’s been predicted that in the next few years, towns and villages will stop picking up leaves, even those that are bagged and or left in piles by the curb; it’s costly and wasteful. Homeowners will be required to get mulching mowers and use the chopped-up leaves to fertilize their lawns and beds. Last year, I did a post with all the details. The trend, thankfully, is starting to catch on.

“Todas las hojas en las camas,” I say to the guys, hoping they’ll forgive my terrible Spanish. Next year, before the leaves fall, I’ll send the boss a packet of articles about the subject and direct him to Home Depot and Sears ads for mulching mowers.

In the meantime, the leaves in the the beds are attractive, cheap (free), and effective mulch. They’ll protect the tree roots and the dormant perennials through snow and ice storms. Come spring, it’s always exciting to rake the leaves away and see the new shoots poking through the earth.

About writedesigner

Graphic designer, writer, and gardener Ellen Shapiro is based in Irvington, New York. A frequent contributor to design blogs and magazines including Print, Imprint, Salon.com, Communication Arts, and Etapes, she writes about trends, issues and personalities in design, illustration, photography, and visual culture around the world.
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