The Pryor Times

Agriculture

October 5, 2012

Lawn chores left in wake of beautiful fall colors

NORMAN — With cooler temperatures, you should start to see some of the beautiful fall colors we enjoy: the maples are turning golden and the sumac is almost hot pink.

But most of you may not enjoy the brown layer of leaves on the lawn after the color has gone.

There are many options for managing fall leaf disposal. Although it is not recommended, if you absolutely cannot stand the look of leaves on your lawn, you can bag them and dispose of them. Some residents have the option of taking leaves, branches and other yard waste to a compost facility. If that's not available to you, here are some other options.

Natural mulch

Whatever you do, try to keep yard waste from taking up space in landfills.

Another option is to rake and gather leaves as usual, but transport them to perennial flower beds for use as an inexpensive, natural mulch. Make sure the leaves aren’t piled too deep to suffocate the plants, 2-3 inches of mulch is sufficient. Sycamore and other large leaves may be too big to use as mulch.  

Composting

You can also choose to start a compost pile at home with fallen leaves. Composting is environmentally friendly and good for many household wastes such as kitchen scraps, shredded paper, and other paper goods. Home composting is rather easy and doesn’t take any fancy equipment or containers.

To start, choose an appropriate area of the yard to make a pile. Make sure the spot is out of the way as to not be an eyesore, but close enough that it can be used easily. Then simply pile leaves, bedding material, and other waste that is removed from the home and garden.

You may choose to put up a fence of some type to hold waste in as it accumulates. Turn frequently with a shovel or pitchfork and water the pile when dry, to a spongy texture when squeezed. Do not include meat, dairy, oil, fish, or pet manure in the compost pile.

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Agriculture