Fall & Spring Clean Up Considerations
Fall and spring clean-ups involve some decision-making and preferences vary, so we have gathered some thoughts on best practices below.
When leaves are in garden beds and bushes, they act as a habitat for overwintering insects, amphibians, and reptiles while protecting the soil and roots below. We recommend leaving whole leaves piled in gardens and beds all winter when tolerable.
Ideally, a maximal amount of whole leaves are retained in beds with some raked or lightly blown into them from the lawn too. There’s a lot of life settling in for the winter in the leaves on the lawn and the beds. For low impact leave all the leaves in the beds (within reason, 4 inches or less (although leaves reduce bulk (16 to 1 over time or when shredded), and rake some off the lawn into the beds first, before mulch mowing the lawn. Mel LeMay of the Aspetuck Land Trust Green Corridor initiative reminded me that doing so saves more lives. Raking is less destructive than blowing, but with an electric on low setting, that is low impact also. We also do zero-emission lawn sweeping which is super efficient and super effective for less blower use! For more info on gas leaf blowers detriments, here is a great NYT article.