Monday, November 3, 2014
Keeping Lakes & Lawns Healthy by Not Raking
As the leaves turn from green to yellow to orange to red, then down to the ground when they finally turn brown; it creates quite a bit of work for homeowners. It is important to dispose of leaves properly.
Many cities offer curbside collection of leaves, where they are typically gathered and sent to a compost site to turn into valuable soil builder. What many don’t realize is that this is costing taxpayers’ money; money for trucks and labor. And unless the compost site is owned by the municipality, there is typically a fee to dump the leaves. That is assuming they are composted and not taken to a landfill.
Rural homeowners are responsible for their own leaves and taking a drive you may easily notice how the leaves are disposed of. The undeniable smell of burning leaves sending clouds of carbon into the atmosphere. Did you know it is illegal in the entire State of New York to burn leaves?
Riparian owners have been known to rake leaves into the water, our readers are too smart to be that careless! When the leaves decompose in waterways, they remove oxygen from the water. Decaying plants also release nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus into the water that promote excessive algae growth. Fish and other aquatic life can’t survive in water with low oxygen. Excessive algae, likewise, can pose threats to human and animal health.
A study done at Michigan State University has shown that shredding the leaves with a lawn mower and distribute in the lawn rather than raking, blowing, and bagging yields positive results. Leaves also make nice mulch for around plants and in landscaping since they retain so much water and nutrients.
People want beautiful lush green lawns come spring will typically fertilize, fertilize, fertilize. However, those nutrients that green up the grass also get washed into local lakes. Aquatic plants grow like “weeds” and so can algae if the conditions are right. But, using fall leaves for lawn nutrients keeps them out of waterways and landfills and will green up your lawn.