The National Wildlife Foundation stated “You shouldn’t feel obligated to rake up every leaf in your yard this fall. Leave leaves on the ground — they have a lot of benefit to wildlife and your garden.” Stop the back-pain work of raking your leaves this fall, leave the leaves where they are.
What are the benefits?
- Leaves Provide Nutrients for Organisms
Leaves are a natural part of any ecosystem. “Every resident of the leaf litter—or visitor to it—is connected to the food web in some way,” says Elizabeth Johnson, a program manager at the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation.
- Reduce Waste
Throwing away leaves is very wasteful. The Environmental Protection Agency reported that in 2011, yard trimmings accounted for 13.5% of solid waste (approximately 33 million tons). Don’t let your leaves be wasted, they have critical benefits to wildlife and your garden.
- Increase Soil Fertility
Leaving leaves alone and letting them naturally decompose adds nutrients to the soil. Leaves also increase the soil’s water retention.
- Reduce Pollution
Leaf blowers and the trucks used to haul away leaves pollute. Artificial fertilizers also pollute. However, leaves are natural fertilizers that do not pollute and improve the soil.