Fall is officially upon us, and with the changing colors and the falling leaves come the rakes and giant plastic bags. But wait! Fall lawn care can be a real drag – but what if I told you it’s actually better to skip the task altogether?! That’s right – Mother Earth sheds her leaves not only to prepare the trees for winter, but also to prepare the many animals in nature for the winter ahead. For example, many animals use leaves to wrap up inside and protect them from harsh winter weather. The ground is protected from the cold, wet elements, and emerges renewed and nourished from the leaves’ protection and nutrient infusion from the natural compost created by decomposing leaves.
Here are 5 more reasons to leave the leaves:
- Prevent landfill buildup: The bags you fill with all these leaves end up in a landfill – adding even more pressure and weight to an already too-compacted area that ends up emitting harmful gasses into the environment (which in turn contribute to climate change and other not-so-fun environmental consequences). What’s more, is most of the bags you’re stuffing full of leaves aren’t biodegradable, and can end up harming wildlife for years to come. According to the National Wildlife Foundation, yard remains including leaves make up 13% of landfill space– that’s 33 MILLION TONS A YEAR!
- Natural lawn care: The leaves’ natural decomposition add several nutrients into your soil. Healthy soil means less need for chemical-laden fertilizers in the spring, which results in a happier yard and healthy pollinators (which we all know make the world go ‘round!). Mother Earth’s protective layer of leaves also protect your lawn against weeds. We’ve written about reasons to get rid of your lawn here, but if you’re not ready to take the plunge, at least utilize natural weed management practices!
- Provide a home for pollinators and other insects: Here at Simply Bee, we love our pollinators! Many pollinators and other insects rely on the leaves falling from trees for shelter, protection from the elements, and even food sources when resources are scarce in the winter.
- Give shelter to animals: Other animals rely on fallen leaves for shelter throughout the winter, too, such as turtles, frogs, and many other yard dwellers. Birds also use leaves for nest building. Having a pristine looking yard isn’t worth taking away the homes of many creatures. Coexist with nature! We’re all here to share in nature’s bounty.
- Reduce Pollution: as we covered in our article 4 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Lawn, lawn care produces a lot of pollution. Leaf blowers and lawnmowers produce a lot of pollution into the air – according to the EPA, 5% of air pollution in the United States is a result of lawn care equipment. This equipment also makes a lot of noise, which scares or deters wildlife from your yard. Several species are already pushed to the edge of their native habitats because historically, humans haven’t been very good sharers. Let’s change that. Be kind, and create a habitat for wildlife in your yard.
Share your reasons to leave the leaves below!