Use Autumn Leaves for a Healthier Lawn


Person mowing over fallen leaves
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Shredding is the key to providing your grass with nutrients from fallen leaves.

Trees offer many gifts to us: beauty, shade and autumn colors. They also offer our lawns a gift: organic material that helps feed grass. Leaves decompose into nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, which means spending less on costly fertilizer. However, you can’t just leave thick layers on the grass. Shredding is key.

Accelerate the breakdown process

Thick layers of leaves that get matted down in rain and snow can damage lawns. To get the advantages of leaves’ organic material, they need to be broken down. You can speed up the breakdown process by shredding leaves.

Going over leaves with a lawn mower is a speedy way to shred them. Set the deck to its highest level and mow away. Mowers with a mulching option will cut leaves into even smaller pieces. Michigan State University Extension says up to 6 inches of leaves can be mowed at time.

Mulching leaves reduces weeds

In addition to providing valuable nutrients to your lawn, shredded leaves help reduce weeds. This is because bare spots that would otherwise provide places for undesirable seeds— like crabgrass and dandelions—to germinate are covered by the leaves.

No leaves in the trash, please

Leaves should never be in placed in the trash. In fact, Michigan’s Environmental Protection Act of 1994 prohibits yard clippings from landfills (unless the materials are diseased, infested or part of an invasive species control program). If you have an excessive amount of leaves, compost them onsite or take them to a recycling facility; you can find one with this directory.

Preserve the beauty of autumn leaves

For many of us, it’s hard to shred all those lovely leaves. Before shredding, reserve some leaves for crafting so you can preserve their beauty. Check out these 42 ideas from Country Living for making something “unbe-leaf-able.”

When your time outdoors inspires you to do more

Shredding leaves and getting the yard for winter often inspires homeowners to plan new projects. For bigger ticket home improvements, like replacing siding or new windows, check out a Consumers home equity line of credit.


All loans subject to approval. Rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change and may vary based on credit worthiness, qualifications, and collateral conditions.

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Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

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