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Want to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring? Put Those Fall Leaves to Work!


Fall is a great time for yard maintenance. And one essential job not to forget is cleaning up around your outdoor condensing unit. As leaves fall and begin to rot in the ground, they can block airflow, causing your condenser to overheat and wear out faster than it should. If you have a lot of leaves on your property, don’t just throw them in the trash. There are lots of ways to put those leaves to work.

Rake up the Leaves

Image: cat meme about raking leaves.

The process of raking up leaves is not that difficult, but it can be time-consuming if you have a lot of leaves to remove. Here are some tips to help you rake efficiently.

  • Buy a rake — If you plan on raking regularly, it’s worth investing in a good-quality metal rake with wide teeth.
  • Get raking — Now that you have your rake, it’s time to get going. First, gather all loose material into piles and any large branches or debris that blew into your yard during the season. Next, move them away from where they landed so they won’t blow back into the yard once you rake them up.
  • Do some HVAC maintenance – clean around your condenser — The condenser cools your home, so keeping it clean as part of your HVAC maintenance will ensure a longer lifespan for your heating system. Clearing leaves will also help prevent mold and mildew growing on your condenser coils.

Make Your Own Compost

Start by shredding or chopping leaves into small pieces. This helps them decompose faster. Next, add some grass clippings, if you have any available. They add nitrogen to the compost heap, which helps speed up the decomposition process.

Mix together all of the ingredients in a large bin or pile on the ground. The pile should be regularly turned over so that air can enter from all sides, exposing all parts for quicker decomposition.

Make Leaf Mold

The best way to make leaf mold is to gather the leaves, put them in a pile and let them sit for a month or two.

Another method is to lay a thick layer of leaves on top of your garden soil, cover them with mulch or straw, water them well and let nature do its thing. The leaves will decay and release nutrients into the ground. After several months, remove the composted leaves and use as needed.

Try Mulch Making

Leaf mulch is a great way to turn autumn leaves into a useful garden product. It’s even better than compost because it can be applied directly to the soil, where it will break down quickly and add nutrients.

Use a leaf shredder to turn your pile into a nice, even layer of mulch. Shredders can be expensive but will give you an even layer of shredded leaves that you can put on your beds or spread around plants as needed throughout the season. For smaller yards, consider renting one from your local hardware store or tool rental shop.

Image: a rake gathering fallen leaves.

Once you have your mulch, use it to place on flowerbeds, veggie patches, or around trees.

Mow the Leaves Back into the Lawn

The best way to deal with leaves is to mow them back into your lawn.

This will help keep your lawn healthy and strong while also reducing the amount of work you have to do later in the year.

Image: a person caressing their lush grass.

Mow over the leaves with a mulching attachment on your mower (if your mower has one). If not, try using a bagger attachment instead. You want as much of the leaf blade to come into contact with the grass as possible. So, either cut them up into smaller pieces or collect them in bags, so they don’t fly away when you run over them with your mower.

Have Fun Creating Some Leaf Art

Leaves are perfect for keeping the kids busy. Get creative and try out some leaf art! Here are a few simple ideas –

  • Leaf prints – For this project, you’ll need a sheet of paper, a leaf, and an ink pad (or paint). Place the leaf on top of the paper and stamp it with ink or paint. Then remove the leaf and repeat until you’ve created a pattern on your paper.
  • Leaf collage – Collage is all about layering pieces together to create something new. For this project, use leaves as one of your layers and glue them onto your collage piece using Mod Podge or another adhesive medium.
  • Leaf painting – Paint with acrylics or watercolors on leaves placed on canvas or paper. The paint will bleed through the leaf’s veins, creating beautiful effects!

Don’t let your Cincinnati home get cold this winter. Stay cozy by booking regular HVAC maintenance. Speak to the experts at HELP and keep your furnace in top condition through the colder seasons.

Posted in: Knowledgebase

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