EXTENSION CONNECTION: Don't trash those fall leaves

Published: Monday, October 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM.

All you need is a lawn mower, some extra time and concern for the environment. Just put the leaves on the lawn in rows around 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep.

Then, with the lawn mower at the highest wheel setting, run over the pile. If the mower has a bag attachment, collecting the shredded leaves is a neat and easy task.

Without a bag, the easiest way to collect them is to put a 9-by-12-foot drop cloth parallel to the row of leaves. Then, by running the mower in one direction so the leaves are discharged onto the cloth, cleanup is much easier.

To cut the volume of shredded leaves another 50 percent, throw them in the compost pile.

You'll be amazed by how much the leaves will shrink within a week. Shredded leaves also compost faster than whole leaves.

All you have to do to compost dry leaves is add water, a little garden soil and a cup of garden fertilizer.

Larry Williams is an agent at the Okaloosa County Extension office in Crestview.

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