OK, I’m convinced. Every major, respectable environmental organization in the country is encouraging us to “leave the leaves.” These include NWF, the Audubon Society, and the Xerces Society. So I told my yard service (yes, I am one of Those People who have a yard service- don’t judge me) to skip the fall clean up this year.
But. It’s not so easy to tell exactly how many leaves I should leave. Some places say four inches deep for the best ecosystem. Well, I have a locust tree, I don’t get that many leaves. Other places warn that too many leaves will kill your grass and you’ll need to put something else in. It’s not like I love grass, but I’m sure not prepared to replace it all at this point either! Still others say the grass will love the leaves, they’ll break down and become fertilizer.
So this year I cleared the sidewalks and the drive and left everything else. I took some pics in November, the one at the top of this post and this closeup:
I plan to take comparison photos in February, May, and July. And we will see. If the grass is happy, then this is the new routine. If in July the lawn looks wan, next year I will try raking half of the leaf layer into the beds. That should save some of the small creatures and also provide food for the birds. Stay tuned.