Sustainable Yards

Leave the leaves

Contributed by Priscilla Williams, President, Pumpkin Brook Organic Gardening

Every autumn in New England we get to witness a spectacular show when the leaves turn to bright oranges, reds and yellows. But soon enough the show ends, the leaves begin to fall and what remains is a bounty of nature’s very own mulch. Rather than bagging and hauling away this resource, consider the many benefits of shredding the leaves so that they can be used as leaf mulch, right on site.

Using leaf mulch on your property offers several benefits:

  • Cuts down on need for watering
  • Recycles local leaves
  • Controls soil erosion and retains soil moisture
  • Regulates soil temperatures
  • Reduces weeds
  • Mitigates drought stress
  • Adds nutrients and improves soil structure while adding beneficial fungi and microorganisms

Leaf mulch can be thought of as compost waiting to happen. Have you ever been out in the middle of the woods and observed the soil? It’s a rich brown color with a great earthy smell. It’s teeming with beneficial microorganisms and organic matter. This soil is created year after year by decomposed leaves. Fallen leaves contain 50-80% of the nutrients taken from the soil and air during the growing season. As the leaves decompose, those nutrients are released back into the soil and made available to plants. Shredding leaves speeds up the decomposition process and creates uniform, aesthetically pleasing mulch.

Leaf mulch can also be stored to later be used as necessary carbon-rich “browns” balancing out the compost pile. Brown materials can be hard to come by in summer when so many nitrogen- rich “greens” are abundant from weeding and deadheading. If you’ve planned ahead and stored a few garbage bags of leaves in your garage over the winter, you won’t have any problem making an ideal compost come summer.

This fall, consider leaf mulching as an option during a fall cleanup. For example, our company can use a commercial grade leaf shredder, or you can use your own mower to shred a shallow pile of leaves. Leave the results right on your lawn as a natural fertilizer, or put the shredded leaves right back onto your garden beds and reap the benefits!

Or, even easier, don’t bother with shredding leaves. Simply leave a 3-4” layer of leaves on garden beds to protect perennials, shrubs and trees over winter. “Bald” or bare soil in the beds, with every scrap of mulch blown away and all leaves removed, can lead to plant losses in harsh winters with widely fluctuating temperatures. Clean up more thoroughly in the spring.

Electric Lawn Care Customer Testimonial

Unsure whether you should switch to an electric mower this fall?

Just listen to what Concord residents are already saying about the EGO electric mowers:

Rob L., who recently purchased an EGO mower, said that “it’s a lot lighter than the old gas one, so I can push it faster, and get the job done more quickly.”

Lighter equipment means less time spent mowing and an easier mow, allowing you to escape from the summer heat outside.

Rob also pointed out that there is “no carbon dioxide to breathe in” and that he “no longer has to crank up iTunes to ear-splitting levels because it’s much quieter.”

Reduced noise levels and low carbon dioxide pollution are only two of the many benefits that you could receive by switching to an electric mower this summer. And with Cooler Concord’s current rebates, you will also be saving a lot of money.

Check out why happy Concord residents like Rob and others have already made the switch by attending the Concord Lawnmower “Swap Plus” event on September 23rd, and don’t forget to pre-register for the event to reserve your mower and rebate.

The deadline for registration has been extended until August 31st but more than a third of the mowers available have already been reserved! Register TODAY to lock in your savings and reserve your new EGO electric lawn mower.


Don’t Miss Concord’s Lawn Mower Swap on September 23rd

Cooler Concord, in partnership with CSEC, Concord Public Works and Quiet Communities, will be hosting a Lawn Mower Swap Event here in Concord! The event will run from 9am to 1pm on September 23rd. It will take place at the CPW Recycling Center at 133 Keyes Road.

Participants will be able to test out electric lawn care equipment and hear from local sustainable lawn care experts. Featured equipment will include electric trimmers/edgers, blowers and snowblowers.  Additionally, residents will be able to recycle their used, gasoline-powered mowers in return for a discount on a new, highly-recommended electric model.

We are excited to report that 75 residents have pre-registered for the event and will “swap” a used, gas-powered mower for a new EGO push or self-propelled electric mower (highly rated by Consumer Reports) from Home Depot.  While pre-registration is closed, we encourage you to attend the event even if you have not registered for a mower or are not a Concord resident.  Concord residents can still sign up to be eligible for a discount and rebate of up to 35%, subsidized by Cooler Concord and Home Depot, for a mower to be picked up at a later date.

To Register Click Here

Remember to bring your gas mower to the event, emptied of oil and gas if possible, to be eligible for the $100 Cooler Concord lawnmower swap rebate.