Just a reminder to residents of Aurora that free fall leaf pickup ends on Friday December 3rd this year. All leaves must be placed in the typical 30-gallon brown paper yard waste bags available at local stores and placed out on your regular garbage pickup day. Garbage stickers are not required for leaves packaged in this manner. Leaves placed in plastic garbage bags or cans will not be accepted and bags of mixed leaves and garbage will also be declined. Also a reminder to not rake or blow your leaves into the streets.
Interestingly enough, I’ve been reading about raking leaves and there seems to be a couple different views on the subject. One theory says that the leaves will decompose if left on your lawn and will provide nutrients that the grass needs. Unfortunately from personal experience, I don’t think the leaves in this area necessarily decompose by theselves over the winter – they tend to stay frozen under the snow and then appear again to greet you come spring. They can also form a mat over the grass and actually kill it. Some don’t believe this will happen – that your lawn will go dormant in the fall and being covered is OK. But again from personal experience, I have found the former to be the case – I’ve had patches where the leaves have collected die over the winter. So I would recommend doing something with them this fall other than letting them sit there until spring.
If you really hate raking there are a couple other options you can consider. The first is just to simply mulch the leaves into your lawn with a mulching mower. I think this would be a viable option especially if you don’t have many leaves. I would tend to think that if you have a lot of leaves, they could create a bit too much mulch – leaves are known to take a while to break down. I would be concerned about this also killing off the grass or preventing a good “green up” in the spring. If you have a lot of leaves, another option would be to use your lawn mower with a bag to mulch the leaves then bag them. You can then empty the mower bag into those brown leaf bags and dispose of them (free until Friday) or put them in your own compost or mulch bin.