fall leaves

What to Do With Your Leaves Before Winter

What to Do With Your Leaves Before Winter

The colorful beauty of autumn is mesmerizing and pleasant. However, the practicalities of homeownership amid the downfall of dead leaves are burdensome. If you have a yard to care for during the fall and winter, you should learn how best to handle the falling foliage. Discover what to do with your leaves before winter so you can prepare your home well.

fall leaves

Clean and Protect Your Gutters

Starting from the top of your home and working down to the yard, you should first assess the state of your gutter system. You must clean and protect your gutters against the fall leaves at all costs. Though it may sound overstated, ignoring the importance of gutter maintenance could leave you with debris and ice-clogged piping when winter starts.

Dredge out any new and old leaves in your gutters before they begin to rot and cake up the walls. Once the gutters and downspouts are clear of all plant debris, you should look for further preventative opportunities. Explore the basic parts of a leaf protection system and install one in your gutters before more leaves plug up the water drainage pipes.

To Rake or Not To Rake

Moving down to the trees and the ground itself, you must ask yourself an important question: should you rake your leaves or leave them be? It may sound counterintuitive, but there are a few reasons to leave the leaves on the ground. Traditionally, a leafless, green-turning-brown lawn is the pinnacle of pristine lawn care. But there is a case to not rake your leaves at all.

Benefit the Environment

In all the places worldwide where leaves fall without people to rake, collect, and dispose of them, the leaves sit and decompose for months through fall, winter, and spring. When leaves break down, they release vital nutrients back into the soil, giving it something fresh to use when the ground thaws. A leaf blanket over the ground even helps preserve soil moisture during the winter.

Bag It or Chop It

Whether you decide to keep or toss your leaves, you ought to know how to handle them. On the one hand, if you choose to bag your leaves and keep a clean lawn, then you need to use a leaf blower, rake, or another device to gather the leaves in a central pile which you must bag by hand. In most towns, trash and disposal trucks will only take lawn refuse in brown, biodegradable bags, so make sure you have them before you pile up your leaves. On the other hand, you can use your lawnmower to chop up the leaves and speed up the breakdown that leads to healthier soil.

Knowing what to do with your leaves before winter helps you navigate the seasonal transition with confidence. Keep these ideas in mind as you make your next move with your home.

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Mallory Knee

Mallory Knee, the Detroit Mommies Lifestyle & Parenting Contributing Expert is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things home, lifestyle, and parenting. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.

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