If you think about it, it just makes sense. Clippings from your grass are filled with the best nutrients for your lawn. Fallen leaves are a great source of nutrients for your trees and bushes. Just about all the organic material from your landscaping can be composted and returned to your lawns and plantings to create richer soils.
And of course, it’s better for the environment because it saves valuable space in landfills.
Leaves and grass clippings make great compost and can be used as a mulch and as a blanket to protect your plantings over the winter. Composted leaves and grass improve the structure and texture of the soil and add vital nutrients for both flower and vegetable gardens.
Grass that’s been left to grow too long between cuttings does need to be bagged and removed to prevent clumping, but if the lawn is properly trimmed returning the clippings to the lawn helps protect the grass roots from insects and improves the nutritional quality of the soil.
Compost is the ultimate green fertilizer. It has a nearly perfect pH and contains the right balance of phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. Unlike chemical and even manure-based fertilizers, compost is a slow-release fertilizer, providing the right amount of nutrition to your lawn and garden throughout the growing season. What comes out of the ground goes back in, a natural cycle.
Grass roots love composted soil: The compost retains the right levels of moisture during rains and allows the roots to penetrate the soil easily. And it’s an attractive environment for earthworms. Worms aerate the soil and help circulate minerals and nutrients between the subsoil and the root zone.
Fallen leaves are part of nature’s natural protection of the soil and roots during the stress of winter freezes and intense summer conditions. Leafy mulches helps hold moisture in the soil after rains and even out the fluctuations in the moisture during a dry spell. Mulches also help prevent certain soil-borne diseases and some weeds.
Shredding the leaves improves their appearance and helps to keep them better seated on the soil and less apt to blow off the areas we want them to protect.