‘Leaf Them Be': DNR Has the Excuses You Need to Not Rake Leaves
Michigan's best season just got better as the Department of Natural Resources has three easy ways of dealing with fall leaves that are infinitely better than raking.
Everyone talks about how autumn is the best season of the year in Michigan. Everyone who doesn't have to rake leaves. Sure, Friday night football, Saturday tailgate parties, and Sunday family trips to the orchard are the things we enjoy. The full spectrum of color on display throughout the state can't be topped and is one of the best things about living in Michigan. Once the color fades and the leaves fall, there's a lot of work to be done if you are the one that has to rake them.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources has a motto that will save you hours of time and back-breaking labor this fall: "leaf them be." The first thing you might wonder is, "what are the neighbor's going to think?" Here's exactly what to tell them: The leaf layer is a critical part of the ecosystem. Salamanders, chipmunks, wood frogs, box turtles, toads, insects, and other wildlife live in the leaf layer of the forest. Many important pollinators like moths and butterflies overwinter in fallen leaves.
So, what next?
- Shred them with a lawnmower
- Rake them into the garden
- Collect them in a compost bin
Not only can not raking your leaves to the curb, bagging, or burning them save you time and energy, but you can also best utilize them for fertilizer the way Nature intended. Natural fertilizer for your yard is created when you mulch leaves with a mower. A winter blanket is knitted to insulate perennials in your garden if you rake them there, and plants live the rich soil that is naturally created from a compost pile.
This year, don't worry about getting the stink-eye from your neighbors for not raking your leaves, just tell them you love Mother Earth and are doing what's best for the planet and your peace of mind.