“Leave your Leaves!” This Fall, try mulching your leaves at home
Bringing your reusable bag? Double-check!
Proudly displaying your idle-free sticker? Yup!
Mulching at home? Huh??
Did you know that one of sustainability’s best practices is to “leave leaves alone”?
In the fall, when autumn brings a chill to the air, and Salt Lake’s oaks and elms and other deciduous trees drop their leaves, many of us turn on the blowers, haul out the rakes, and get ready for some serious work.
But—have you considered an alternative? Using some or all of your leaves to mulch your yard or garden?
We’d like to invite you to do just that.
Feeding leaves back into your soil is a cost-effective and natural way to enrich your yard, as well as to protect fall plants and vegetables from the cold.
Curious? Here are some tips for making the most of our autumnal deluge:
- Compost leaves in your backyard (Leaves are a great building block for homemade fertilizer)
- Mulch your leaves with a lawnmower
- Oftentimes, this is much less work than raking!
- Alternatively, mulch leaves by putting them in a plastic bin and using your weed whacker to cut them up. Distribute over your lawn and garden.
- Finally, this page has a lot of information about different types of leaf product: including the wonderfully-named “leaf mold.”
The benefits of mulching are many and include:
- Saving money on yard and garden fertilizer
- Protecting vegetables, trees, and other plants from the winter cold.
- Weed reduction, come spring.
- Leaves provide a healthy habitat for beneficial insects to survive in the winter
- Creating less demand for Salt Lake City’s Division of Waste and Recycling to collect extra leaf cans—which reduces air pollution.
- Keeping leaves out of storm drains improves water quality and reduces municipal costs.
Give mulching a try! Let us know how it goes.
And remember, if the leaves are still piling up faster than you can handle, use the brown yard waste bin to dispose of them (no bags please).
Extra “leaves only” bins are also available to Salt Lake City residents free of charge:
- Bins are available first come, first served.
- There is no charge for a “leaves only” bin.
- Bins are collected weekly, on the same day as garbage collection day.
- When you are done with the extra bin, call (801) 535-6999 so another resident can use it.
- Learn more at SLCGreen’s website.
Thank you for helping Salt Lake City sustainably-manage (and show some love to) our leaves!
P.S. Here’s a NYTimes story about how communities in New York are encouraging mulching. Interesting read!