Frustrated with Fall Leaves? Make Them Work Hard for Your Garden
Fall is the time of year for yard maintenance, including cleaning around your outdoor condenser unit. Keeping it free from rotting leaves will ensure it doesn't clog up and break down. But before throwing those pesky leaves straight in the trash, look at some of these environmentally friendly ideas.
Let's Get Raking
Raking leaves is one of the least exciting fall chores. It's a dirty job, and it's hard work. But if you do it right, it's not as bad as it seems. Here are some tips for raking up leaves that will make the job easier -
Rake up leaves in small batches.
Don't try to rake your entire yard or garden into one leaf pile. If you have a large area, you'll scatter leaves all over the place. Instead, focus on raking up into smaller piles – little piles of leaves over your yard are easier to collect than one enormous pile.
Rake only when it's dry outside.
Wet leaves are heavy and stick together more than dry ones, making them harder to remove from your lawn without damaging the grass underneath them. If it rains during the day while you're raking, wait until the next morning before continuing. By then, any leftover moisture will evaporate or be absorbed by the ground.
Get rid of large sticks and debris
Don't try to rake up large sticks or stones. It's likely to break your rake. You don't want to buy a new rake each time you sweep the yard. Instead, gather up sticks, twigs, and stones before starting.
HVAC maintenance - clear around your condenser
Debris can block airflow and clog coils inside your equipment. When this happens, it can cause your system to overheat and malfunction. Book regular HVAC maintenance to care for your furnace.
Compost the Leaves
Fall is the perfect time to start a compost heap. The leaves are ready to be collected and used.
To start your compost pile, layer leaves with brown material such as twigs, branches, and newspaper. Keep adding layers until the stack is approximately 3 feet high by 3 feet wide by 3 feet deep (typical for most home composters). Remember to leave an air pocket at the top so heat can build up inside the pile — it will help speed up decomposition.
Every few weeks, turn over the pile until your compost heap is ready to use.
Try Making Leaf Mold
Leaf mold is a soil conditioner that can be made by simply layering leaves, grass clippings, and other dried plant matter together. It can be used as an organic soil amendment for your garden and is especially effective at improving poor soil conditions.
Making leaf mold is simple but takes time — anywhere from six months to three years — to complete.
The layering method requires no compost bins or special tools; you only need large plastic bags and dry leaves (and grass clippings if you want). Throw the leaves in the bags and let them rot. When it looks brown and soil-like, it's ready to use in your garden.
Turn your leaves from a maintenance headache into a beauty boost for your landscape by mulching with them.
Some people worry that their yards will look "dirty" with leaf mulch, but if you choose the right kind of leaves and spread them evenly over the soil surface, it can make your lawn look richer and more colorful than ever before (and your soil will be healthier too).
Give Your Lawn Some Leaf Love
Mowing your leaves back into your lawn is a great way to add nutrients to the ground and reduce your workload.
Use a push mower to cut up any large clumps of leaves left behind by the rake or vacuum. If there are still some small clumps left, use your bagger attachment on the mower, so they don't go flying all over the place when they come out of the bagger chute.
Turn Your Leaves into a Masterpiece
The bright gold and red shades of fall make for beautiful decorations. So why get creative with the kids and turn your leaves into art.
- Make a leaf collage on your wall. Use lots of different leaves and nestle them together between two sheets of wax paper. Use Mod Podge to glue them onto a large piece of cardboard or plywood, then hang on the wall.
- Leaf wreath. Simply gather up some different types of leaves and tie them together with twine to form a wreath shape. Then, add flowers or other decorations as desired.
- Leaf painting. Let the kids go wild with some paint and create leaf prints to decorate the kitchen.
Keep your furnace working this winter by booking regular HVAC maintenance. Speak to the experts at ProSkill and keep your North Valley home cozy this season.