Won't be long before our snow shovels come out of storage.  Before then, we need to take care of the fallen leaves in the yard.

How do you dispose of your fallen leaves?

Most years, we rake our leaves and bag them before bringing them to disposal location.  We have always gotten 15 - 20 large bags, but not this year.

This year, big winds took almost all of our leaves to somewhere else in the neighborhood.  A quick run of the mower over them and we'll be done.

There are many options when it comes to taking care of leaves.  University of Minnesota explains the pros and cons of keeping them:


Leaves make an excellent mulch for use around trees and shrubs, or in flower and vegetable gardens. They help retard the growth of weeds, help retain soil moisture, help maintain lower soil temperatures in the summer, and protect against temperature fluctuations and some types of low temperature injury during winter. They eventually decompose, adding their nutrients to the soil and improving soil structure.


Leaves make a good addition to your compost pile. Shredding is not required, but it may speed their rate of decomposition. Leaves are difficult to compost alone and will require extra nitrogen in the form of a commercial fertilizer (no weed 'n' feed products), or materials high in nitrogen such as grass clippings. If you have room, you can save leaves to mix with green materials next summer. As a general rule, grass clippings should be left on the lawn, but for those times when you need to collect clippings, it is useful to have leaves to mix with the grass for better composting results. For more detailed information on composting, see Extension publication FO-3296, Composting and Mulching: A Guide to Managing Organic Yard Wastes.


If you plan to allow leaves to remain on the lawn, it must be done cautiously and should be confined to lawns with only a light covering of leaves. (Grass blades should still be visible through leaves before shredding.) Shredding is recommended; several passes using a mower with or without a leaf shredding attachment will improve your chances for success. Even when shredded, it does not take a very heavy layer of leaves to smother the grass, causing partial die-back, or making it more susceptible to diseases. It is often necessary to remove at least some of the fallen leaves from the lawn.

No shortage of options.