Mulching leaves: Mowers, not just for lawns

This is one reason why I wish I had an electric lawn mower: to chop autumn leaves into bite-sized, easily composted pieces. This is a trick you can use now. My rickety, ancient push mower (all I can justify for my narrow strip of grass, which soon might disappear completely) doesn’t have the ooomph required.
Sarah and I saw these at a local high school, left right on the lawn. The ripple patterns left in the mowed bits reminded me of the sand in a Japanese garden.

Now, you wouldn’t want to leave this on the grass in any depth, as it would smother the undergrowth. Also, decomposition requires nitrogen, which is exactly the nutrient needed most by leafy greens like grass.

That being said, the tiniest pieces have all winter to break down. Raking up the larger morsels and popping them on your garden is a way to get the best of both worlds.

On the way back home from the dog park, we met the guy on the rider mower doing the same thing at the public school across the way. It’s usually left for the sweeper to pick up for the city compost heap. Before it disappears, we’re going to get us some o’ that.


  1. Oh, good. I have yet to marshal my leaf-gathering troops, but I'd like to!

    Nice that you practically have a delivery service! Could you borrow a mower just for the leaves?

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