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Here are 5 great reasons to mow — that's right, mow — your leaves

Monday, November 22nd 2021, 3:23 pm - Control weeds, make compost, save money: what's not to love about this technique?

Fall is upon us, and apart from being mesmerized by the vibrant colours, you'll soon find yourself wondering what to do with all those leaves.

People have different ways of dealing with this. Many people just rake them, bag them and then leave them by the roadside to be picked up. Then they're someone else's problem.

I've also seen many people opt to blow the leaves off their lawns. This is quick and convenient, but really is just an out-of-sight, out-of-mind method.

There are some that use a leaf bagger to collect the leaves and dispose of them.

However, there is one other option — apart from not doing anything — and that is to mow them. That's right: mow them.

Here are five reasons why you should try mowing your leaves instead.

1. Enrich the lawn

Simply mow the leaves on the mulch (or highest) setting of your lawnmower. This breaks them up into much smaller pieces, and the process allows organic matter to enter the soil naturally as leaf bits break down.

It's fast, convenient and provides good nutrition for your lawn. The rain pushes the compost into the earth over time and this step brings nutrition straight to the roots.

2. Create 'gardeners gold'

If you grow food or have flower beds, collecting these chopped-up leaves into a bagger and spreading it on your garden beds will do them good.

You're taking carbon and injecting it back into the areas of the garden that will benefit from it the most.

You'll have rich and healthy soil and hence you'll produce healthier plants.

WATCH BELOW: Why do leaves change colour in the fall?

SEE ALSO: Fall is a critical time for lawn care, here's what you need to know

3. Weed control

The chopped leaves snuff out weeds over time by layering up on certain areas of the lawn. This ends up blocking sunlight and air from getting to weeds. As a result, you'll need to weed your garden a lot less often than you used to.

Make sure you spend the extra time to finely mulch up those leaves, or you'll have to add an extra step of dethatching in the spring. You only want to get rid of the weeds, not your beautiful lawn.

4. Save time and money

Chopping up leaves using a mulching mower, or even a side discharge mower, will end up saving you a lot of time and energy.

You'll be putting money right back in your pocket all while creating free fertilizer and putting the good stuff right where you want it. This method works well for creating organic matter using both grass clippings and leaves.

5. Save the planet

Even though you're running a gas mower, your overall environmental impact is less than running diesel trucks throughout the province every fall to collect and process the leaves — not to mention all the bags you have to purchase, and all that went into manufacturing those bags in the first place.

You might even make fewer trips to the garden centre as you'll be manufacturing fertilizer right on site.

There are several ways to deal with leaves in the fall, and what might work for you may not work for someone else as each situation is different. However, the principles shared here are universal — so it can easily be applied anywhere.

Go ahead and hang the rake this year. Dust off the old mower and do yourself and your lawn a favour by using what nature has already given to you.

WATCH BELOW: Four incredible things that only happen in fall (other than the changing leaves)

This article, written by Omair Imtiaz, was originally published for CBC News.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Shannon Hughes/UGC

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