Y’all, it’s late October in Tennessee and folks in the surrounding neighborhoods are doing something kind of crazy.
They’re raking up leaves and placing them into garbage bags. Then they set them on the curb.
Now I don’t dumpster dive as much as I used to, but I brake for bagged leaves.
It’s soil waiting to happen.
Everything I do is centered around rebuilding and improving soil. Leaf composting is one of the best ways to do this. It’s going to be safe – it’s incredibly unlikely that tree leaves are going to contain anything that’ll harm your garden, unlike bagged soils that may have been generated through municipal means.
Leaf compost will also introduce beneficial microorganisms onto your land.
You have several options here: you can leave them in the bags and just let them cook down. By spring you’ll essentially have soil suitable for placing directly into your gardens. You can also layer them deeply onto your beds now and around your trees as a mulch layer.
Lots of folks pay a little extra to their garbage service to pick them up. See if you can help them reduce those costs. I posted on NextDoor stating I could pick up bagged leaves within a certain radius – free of charge. I grabbed some today and had a great conversation with a gentleman where he asked what my business was all about and was thrilled to find that his leaves were not going into a landfill.
Even many green waste recycling places charge individuals up to $40 per load just to drop off.
If you’re on a larger property and have room for a truck and dump trailer to access, find out which lawn and property maintenance services do leaf pick up. See if they’d be inclined to drop on your property instead of going to a waste facility. But you can’t have my leaf guy – sorry.
Bottom line – go get your free leaves. Consider it nature’s community service.