Although winter is generally considered downtime for gardeners, there are still decisions to be made regarding your lawn’s health that will keep it looking green all year round.
Autumn leaves may look pretty swell as they change colour, but once the season comes to a close and they fall to the ground, they’re pretty much reduced to a gardening nuisance. Typically, these get raked up and disposed of. But with the emergence of eco-friendly gardening, there’s conflicting advice around exactly what the best methods are.
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can leave dead leaves where they are. Not only can they clog drains and cause your garden to flood when the rain inevitably comes, they deprive your grass of vital nutrients.
Like all plants, grass needs air and sunlight to survive. Fallen leaves can block both of these vital elements, suffocating your grass and creating a muddy pile where beautiful green grass should be.
These piles happen to be a perfect environment for worms to set up shop, bringing moles, their main natural predator, with them.
The method you use for collecting and disposing of your fallen leaves depends largely on how much effort you’re willing to put in and how understanding your neighbours are. Raking can be backbreaking if you have more than one tree in your garden, but leaf blowers are loud enough to be classed as noise pollution by some.
If you live in a built-up area, you might want to stick to the rake. With a piece of equipment as simple as a rake, it can be tempting to just buy any old one. But investing in the right model will speed up the process, save your back muscles some strain and ensure it lasts for years. Our favourites are the Wolf Garten UIMC and the Wilkinson Sword Plastic Leaf Rake.
However, if you live in a more rural area, have particularly understanding neighbours or are simply willing to deal with the hassle to save yourself some time and energy, leaf blowers are infinitely faster and more efficient. The Husqvarna 525BX is an absolute powerhouse, while the Flymo GardenVac 2700 runs with a super-quiet motor and even includes a vacuum function!
Collecting and disposing of your fallen leaves doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t be an eco-friendly gardener. It’s 100% true that dead leaves make invaluable compost material and can be used to enhance your lawn’s fertility in the winter, but it’s important to go about this correctly.
The leaves need to be chopped into much smaller pieces and then spread evenly across your garden to ensure that the grass isn’t suffocated, feeling all of the benefits with none of the drawbacks. The Bosch ALS 2500 seems to have been designed with this exact act in mind, as a leaf blower and vacuum with a built-in shredding action for swift disposal.
Keep your lawn healthy all year round and enjoy gardening even in the depths of winter by recycling dead leaves into a fantastic mulch.