UConn laboratory manager explains importance of not raking leave - WFSB 3 Connecticut

UConn laboratory manager explains importance of not raking leaves

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PLAINFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

More and more scientists agree mulching your leaves into the lawn could be beneficial. 

Plainfield resident Dave Ricci said he has his fall lawn maintenance schedule down to a science.  When having to move about a ton of leaves off the lawn, many homeowners such as Ricci said they use the mulching blade on his lawn tractor to do all of the work.

"I'd rather mulch everything than throwing it in the landfills and that stuff,” Ricci said. “People bag them and have them taken away."

The National Wildlife Association said bagging leaves then taken to the landfill is wasteful. The association said yard debris accounts for 13% of solid waste. That's 13 million tons into landfills annually.

Ricci said his lawn seems to be healthier because of the homemade mulch.  

Dawn Pettinelli is the manager at the Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory at the University of Connecticut. Pettinelli said mulched leaves are free and increase organic matter levels returning nutrients to the soil and continuing the life cycle for worms and insects.

"The leaves fall down. They get recycled by the microbes and earth worms and their nutrients get made available to the next generation of microbes and animals and plants,” Pettinelli said. “So you want to do the same thing on your lawn."

But if you have too many leaves, the advice here is to mulch what your lawn and garden can use and then share the rest with your communities compost pile.

"That's something I've done forever since I been here about 43 years and I do it every year,” Ricci said.

To learn more from Pettinelli, click here.

For fun facts on leaves and trees, click here

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