Vail Landscape Logic column: Three tips for making use of fallen leaves in your yard | VailDaily.com

Vail Landscape Logic column: Three tips for making use of fallen leaves in your yard

Mulch the dead leaves in your yard and put them to work for you as organic matter.

The forecast for the next few days continues to be dry and mild, so there's still time to rake any remaining leaves that have collected in your yard. Rather than trucking them to the landfill, here are some easy-to-do tips that will help keep more resources in your yard where they can work for you and your landscape:

No. 1: Fallen leaves left on the lawn will become a matted mess once they become wet with rain or snow. Matted leaves can smother the soil and create snow mold or other problems in the lawn. As we've often recommended, rake leaves onto the lawn and mow over them with a mulching mower. If you have trees with large leaves, such as catalpa, maple or cottonwood, this is an effective way to deal with them.

No. 2: Rake out excess mulched leaves and use them as organic matter. Work mulched leaves into the soil in the veggie garden and annual beds. Over the winter, these bits of leaves will decompose and improve soil quality.

No. 3: Mulched and very small leaves, such as honey locust leaves and ash, can also be placed around the bases of roses, grapes and other perennials as winter mulch. Mound them around the bases of plants while they are still dry.

Leaves in the landfill contribute to landfill-generated methane emissions, which heighten global warming, according to the U.S. Composting Council. Yet when organic materials decompose naturally, the carbon dioxide they release is part of the natural flow of carbon dioxide between vegetation and the atmosphere, which has little impact on global warming.

What we do in our own backyards really does matter for our world.

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Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.