Easy Garden: Fall Leaves Make Great Mulch for Your Lawn

Fall leaves make a great mulch for the lawn and adds nutrients too! All you need for this easy garden tip is a lawn mower to break up the leaves and nature takes care of the rest!

Autumn Leaves

Fall has officially arrived and leaves will soon be turning beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red, providing a fall display that we look forward to each year.

However, it’s what comes after the show that does not make most people happy – fallen leaves!  BUT, did you know that there are some people who look forward to seeing fallen leaves on their lawns?

Now before you start thinking that people like this must be a little crazy – let me tell you an easy garden secret that they have already discovered – “Fallen leaves make a great mulch and add nutrients to your lawn.”  What’s even better is that you don’t have to haul out your rake and trash bags – all you need is your lawn mower.

fall leaves as organic matter

When leaves are broken up into smaller pieces, they gradually break down and make their way down into the grass where they provide mulch.  The mulching action of the leaves keeps a majority of weeds from germinating in spring.  Now wait, it get’s even better – as the leaves break down, they add nutrients to your lawn as well, which is vital to rapid recovery and regrowth in spring while needing less supplemental fertilizer.

So, are you ready to ‘mow’ your leaves instead of raking them this fall?

To create leaf mulch from your autumn leaves simply set your lawn mower on its highest setting (without the bag) and run over the leaves twice, which will break them down into small pieces.  (I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather mow leaves than rake them!)  Thereafter, every couple of weeks, continue to mow your leaves until they are finished falling.  You’ll be surprised at how quickly they disappear from the lawn surface as they break down.

Creating leaf mulch for your lawn is a great example of sustainable, organic and easy gardening!

So, as the temperatures begin to cool and the first brightly colored leaves begin to fall, leave the rake in the shed and reach for your lawn mower – you’ll end up with a healthier lawn with much less effort.

Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. When she is not writing or helping other people with their gardens, you can find her growing fruits and vegetables, and planting flowering shrubs and maybe a cactus or two.