What to do with all those leaves before winter

What to do with all those leaves before winter

What to do with all those leaves before winter

The stretch of above-average temperatures this week is giving Minnesotans another chance to get outside and enjoy the warmth while it lasts.

It’s also a good chance to put up holiday lights or take care of any fall cleanup tasks, like cleaning up dead leaves.

The wind on Tuesday made it a difficult day for leaf cleanup but landscaping experts say taking care of them before it gets cold is beneficial.

“Getting the leaves up is a good thing for the lawn over the course of the winter,” said John Carlson, the co-owner of Urban Landworks.

Some homeowners believe that allowing the leaves to remain over the winter allows them to decompose and return nutrients to the soil, but Carlson said that’s best in wooded areas where grass isn’t growing, not for yards.

“If that sits on your lawn for the course of the winter, it’s going to matt down and eventually kill your grass,” Carlson said, noting that the leaves can block moisture and sunlight.

There are also different thoughts on the best way to clean up leaves, with some homeowners preferring to rake and others opting to mulch. Carlson says mulching leaves allows sunlight to reach the grass, as long as it’s not too heavy.

“You don’t want it super thick though. If you mulch, it can become very thick and look almost like a layer of dirt in your yard,” he said.

And, if we continue to get warm weather, it’s something that may need to be done multiple times before winter, especially since strong winds can quickly undo a day’s work.