What to do with all those fall leaves?

Now that the leaves are finally turning color and falling off the trees...here's some timely advice from the HM Environmental Group about your options (click title to read more).

To rake or not to rake? What to do with your autumn leaves (plus a good deal to help you manage them).
Recommendations compiled by the Hamline Midway Environment Group (HMEG) and Ramsey County Master Gardeners.

When the leaves fall from your trees each year, consider them a valuable resource -- they contain nutrients that your lawn, compost pile or garden needs! After playfully enjoying your leaf pile, here are a few eco-smart options:

  • If you have a backyard compost bin, or plan to start one, save your dry leaves to use as a carbon source, or "browns,".  "Browns" are essential to non-smelly, active compost and must be added to vegetable scraps for compost success.

  • Create free and convenient garden mulch from your leaves by collecting your autumn leaves in a hoop of chicken wire.  They will breakdown partly over the winter and come next summer, you will have a valuable mulch to use in your garden beds.  Leaf mulch works especially well in vegetable gardens!

  • Use a mower to break leaves into tiny pieces and leave them on your lawn.  A leaf layer that is thin enough to still see some grass is fine for lawns.

  • Drop off your leaves and yard waste at the county compost site at Pierce Butler & Transfer Road by November 30 (open M/W/F - 11-7, Sat - 9-5, Sun - 11-5).

  • Whether you compost your own leaves or take them to the county compost site, it's important to make sure that you are not raking up dog waste along with the leaves.

  • Get an inexpensive bin for your leaves! HMEG is offering a length of plastic fencing along with zip ties to set it up into a 3-foot diameter bin, AT COST - $10.  This means that you won't have to buy a large roll of plastic fencing. To get your leaf bin, contact Peter at midwaypete@gmail.com


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