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How To Use Raked Leaves For Your Lawn

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
How To Use Raked Leaves For Your Lawn

Autumn is here and with the falling temperatures comes falling leaves.

For some homeowners this means leaf raking season, but what should be done about the raked pile?

Dekalb Ag Extension Agent Johnny Barnes said a great option is for composting.

“It’s a natural product of trees going through photosynthesis, and all the nutrients from the tree actually come through the soil through the trunk and through the branches of the tree into the leaves,” Barnes said. “Those nutrients are actually in those leaves.”

Barnes said composted leaves make a great soil amendment for gardens or landscaping and can actually improve patchy areas of grass.

Thicker leaves from magnolia or hickory trees could take longer to compost. Barnes said one of the best ways to speed the composting process is to chop them up with a lawnmower and pile the fragments together. He said the pile should be turned over every other week to enhance airflow, speeding the process even further.

Barnes urged caution using composted leaves as fertilizer. He said some leaves are more acidic than other, such as hickory or oak leaves. Some garden plants do not do well with acidity. Other plants like blueberry bushes thrive on acidic soil.

Another viable option is to burn autumn leaves, but after October 15 residents are required to get a burn permit.

“That is a great way to dispose of them, it’s a natural way where you’re not, you know, going and filling up a landfill with them,” Barnes said. “You can get your burn permit through the Division of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture.”

Barnes said to protect your lawn, it is important to rake them off your grass.

“It’ll slow down the growth and it’ll actually kill out your grass to where it will kinda brown out,” Barnes said. “And it’ll drown out your cool season grasses because it’ll block the sunlight and keep photosynthesis from happening.”


The post How To Use Raked Leaves For Your Lawn appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.