'Do the rot thing': fall clean up advice from the Idaho Department of Lands

Fall Leaves 2022
Posted at 3:07 PM, Oct 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-27 18:50:59-04

Do the 'rot' thing. That's the advice from Matthew Perkins, Urban & Community Forestry Program manager at the Idaho Department of Lands.

In a guest opinion release, Perkins encourages home owners to recycle fall leaves. Instead of raking and bagging, Perkins suggests shredding leaves with the lawnmower, and leaving them to decompose.

Perkins explains that decomposed leaves add nutrients to the lawn, reducing fertilizer and water needs. If the leaves become too heavy for the lawn, he suggests placing them in the garden, improving soils for better root growth.

"Collecting your leaf clippings and your grass clippings and reusing those can count for up to twenty five percent of your lawns annual nitrogen needs."

In addition, Perkins reminds homeowners that any pruned branches can be chipped and turned into mulch, helping retain water around your trees. Larger branches can be used as firewood, lowering heating costs during winter months.