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Mow Leaves Into Mulch

By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - As the leaves start dropping, before the piles start growing, just keep mowing so those leaves get blitzed to bits.

You don't want thick layers of large leaves lying on your lawn for long - certainly not through rainy weather, much less all winter or they'll block the sun and kill the grass. Instead, run a mulching lawnmower back and forth over the leaves on your lawn and let the dusty bits land between the blades of grass where they'll nestle down and turn into fabulous fertilizer. As those itty leaf bits break down, they release their nutrients and renew the soil to help your lawn thrive.

Don't over do it - make sure you can still see the grass - you don't want to smother your lawn with a thick covering of mulched leaves; about an inch of leaf litter nestled between the blades of grass is enough. So, if you have loads more leaves, collect the rest of the mulched leaf matter in a mower bag, then sprinkle a few inches around trees, shrubs, bulbs and perennials in garden beds as a wonderful mulch that also feeds your plants.

If you still have some leftover, pile it in an out-of-the way spot where the leaf matter will start to breakdown into fertilizer over winter. Then, you can use it to fill containers and feed plants in pots and garden beds next year, as well as to top-dress your lawn again in the spring.

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