Gardeners are faced with a lot of dead leaves to collect year after year. Here are some tips on how to collect them efficiently and find out how to use them wisely.
Why Should You Collect Fallen Leaves From Your Garden?
Brightly colored fall leaves are a joyful addition to gardens and streets, and are not a problem in and of themselves. However, the weather that accompanies them at this time of year is often wet and cold, and the ground can quickly become slippery. In your garden, a layer of dead leaves left on the ground can also be harmful to some of your plants.
Why Is It Important To Pick Up Fallen Leaves?
Because of the risk of slipping, it is important to pick up dead leaves on paths and driveways. We also recommend that you regularly remove leaves from your lawn to keep it in good condition.
No Dead Leaves On The Lawn
Leaves left on the ground deprive your lawn of light and oxygen, so don’t leave them uncollected for too long. In addition, moisture often collects under the leaf layer, causing it to rot and may leave light or dark spots, bald spots or increase moss growth. During the colder months, you should plan to remove the leaves from your lawn on a regular basis. Don’t hesitate to use a leaf blower, it will do you a lot of good.
Dead Leaves Under Your Trees And Shrubs, And In Your Garden
Under trees and shrubs, dead leaves are very beneficial for the soil. There is no need to remove them, you can even leave a layer up to 15 cm thick, the leaves will decompose to form a valuable and fertile humus. In your vegetable garden too, the leaves will be useful, they will protect the delicate soil of your flower beds and regulate the humidity balance during the cold season. However, beware, soft-growing plants, grasses and evergreens do not tolerate being covered with leaves.
Leaves From The Neighbor’s Trees Fall On Your Property
As a general rule, any leaves that fall and remain on your property are your responsibility to sweep up and dispose of. If an excessive amount of leaves is coming from your neighbor’s property, try to reach an amicable agreement. Legal recourse is usually futile unless the leaves are causing obvious damage, and even then, lawsuits are rarely simple.
Beware Of Slipping On Fallen Leaves
Pick up fallen leaves on a regular basis in your driveways, as once wet they quickly become slippery and can turn into a skating rink for pedestrians and cyclists. Your municipality is most likely responsible for the sidewalk along your house, contact them to find out more about their clearing schedule.
How To Pick Up Fallen Leaves
Raking Up Leaves
A rake is still the most affordable and easiest tool to use for raking up fallen leaves. The work can be quick, but not effortless. You can quickly reach your limits depending on the amount of leaves and the size of your yard.
Collecting Leaves With A Leaf Blower
A vacuum blower/shredder will take less effort than a rake and will make your job much easier. It shreds leaves into small pieces as it sucks them into its vacuum bag. This method is very effective, both for removing dead leaves and for using them later, as mulch for example.
Collecting Leaves With A Leaf Blower Will Make Your Job Easier
Leaf blowers clear spaces quickly and efficiently by collecting large quantities of leaves into a neat pile. These powerful assistants are ergonomic and perfectly suited for large yards.
Collecting And Raking Up Fallen Leaves With A Lawn Mower
Your lawn mower can clean up and collect fallen leaves very easily. The effort is moderate, and it’s a good compromise between a rake and a blower. Simply run the mower over the leaves and it will collect them in its collection box.
When Can I Use A Vacuum Blower?
Like most power tools, a vacuum blower can be noisy. Be careful not to disturb your neighbors by using it at appropriate times. Most municipalities have defined time slots during which do-it-yourself or gardening work carried out by individuals using tools or equipment likely to cause a nuisance to the neighborhood because of their noise level is authorized. These hours are generally as follows: weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays and holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Some municipalities prohibit noise pollution on Sundays, check with your city hall.
Tools To Help You: Leaf Blowers And Vacuum Blowers
STIHL’s powerful leaf blowers and vacuum blowers make cleaning up gardens and outdoor areas quick and efficient. Autumn winds can scatter leaves all over your yard, so you’ll have no trouble collecting, vacuuming and shredding them.
Dispose Of A Small Amount Of Leaves
The dead leaves you have collected should not be thrown in your garbage, but you can put them in a composter or on your compost pile if you have one.
Disposing Of A Large Amount Of Leaves
If the amount of leaves is too much for your composter, find out what local measures exist. Some municipalities sell special bags for the green waste they collect. You can also go to a recycling center or waste disposal site to drop off your green waste for composting. If your municipality cannot help you, you can contact a private green waste collection service.
Collecting Dead Leaves: What Not To Do
In the woods: Do not, under any circumstances, throw your leaves in the woods, as this could disturb the sensitive ecosystem of the forest. This act is considered illegal dumping and may be subject to a fine.
On the sidewalk: Leaving dead leaves on the side of the road is also considered illegal.
Burning: In France, it is forbidden to burn your green waste, it is considered a nuisance. In addition, wet leaves produce a large amount of smoke that could be dangerous in many ways.
Use Collected Leaves Wisely
Sometimes it is more beneficial to leave the leaves in certain areas of your garden, they can be beneficial to the nature around them. There is no need to collect them. They fertilize the soil, serve as a frost protection mulch or as a habitat for small garden animals. Even if you are clearing your driveways and lawn, you can enjoy these same benefits and utilize the benefits of green waste elsewhere in your garden.
In flower beds, fallen leaves will form a mulch and offer natural protection against the harshness of winter. You can also collect fallen leaves while cleaning your lawn. If you have frost-sensitive roses or gladioli, cover their feet with a thick layer of leaves. As they decompose, they will add valuable nutrients to your soil.
Your vegetables will also appreciate your leaf mulch, as long as it is not spread too thickly. Ideally, you should start by loosening the soil so that the leaves can penetrate it. Even a light layer of soil speeds up the decomposition process of the leaves, which can then feed the soil even more quickly.
You can collect the leaves from your lawn, but keep them in a pile in a corner of your garden. Hedgehogs and other small garden animals will take up residence there to hibernate, as they appreciate the slightly cluttered, leaf-rich areas. And you’ll be glad you did, too, because hedgehogs eat pests like snails and also loosen the soil.
If your compost can’t hold all your dead leaves, buy burlap bags and fill them up. If you can shred them beforehand, it will take up less space in your garden. Store them in an unobtrusive corner open to the elements, let a year or so go by, and your leaves will have broken down into an excellent fertilizer for the soil.
Why not create a compost bin yourself or simply dedicate a space to put your leaves? This will allow you to compost more of them. All you have to do is plant four wooden poles and surround them with wire mesh. That’s all there is to it! You get a ventilated composter that will be very useful for your garden!
In A Nutshell: Raking Up Fallen Leaves
Clearing leaves from walkways is essential to avoid accidents. This will keep your lawn and garden looking beautiful.
Some tools to help you: rakes, blowers, vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers
Small quantities of dead leaves can be disposed of in a composter, if you have one
For larger quantities, check local waste collection and disposal regulations
Leaf litter is also used as compost, fertilizer and winter habitat for wildlife