In my backyard, I have mabulosi (mulberry) trees which are currently dropping a lot of leaves. Every morning we sweep about a plastic bag-full of these leaves.
After this season, I am expecting my mapeyala (avocado pears) to start dropping their leaves as well. That will be around September. They will later be joined by bulugama (blue gum) trees in the littering business.
The conservationist in me led me to researching how we can benefit from such seasonal occurrences. In my search for knowledge I stumbled on an article on www.housebeautiful.com which advocates that we should not sweep our lawns because there are ecological benefits of leaving the leaves on the ground. This has left me thinking, what will people say when they see my yard littered with leaves?
I have also been thinking how beautiful the grounds will be if the leaves are left to fertilise them? Read on and give your verdict.
“When leaves change colour each autumn, we all “ooh!” and “aah!”… But as soon as they drop to the ground, the magic fades and all that’s left is the drudgery of a weekend spent raking them up.
“Or is there? The National Wildlife Federation actually recommends not raking your leaves at all. You read that right: Just leave them where they lie.
“The reality is that fallen foliage isn’t a just nuisance that’s hiding your manicured lawn — it’s an active and necessary part of the ecosystem. Beds of leaves provide shelter and even food for animals like chipmunks, box turtles, and earthworms. Butterfly pupae use the layers for protection as they grow over the chilly months. Plus, as the leaves decompose (no, they won’t litter your lawn forever), they form a natural mulch and help fertilise the soil.
“Of course, many communities have rules regarding curb appeal and leaf collection, and you should clear away sidewalks and paths to your house. But if you must get rid of your leaves, the NWF suggests placing them in a compost pile, using them for mulch in planting beds, or dropping them at your recycling centre for municipal composting.”
My final words remain, if you want it perfectly done, do it yourself. n