just a girl living her best life in the upper lefthand corner

Maintenance Monday: Autumn Leaves

Comin’ atchya with another (super sexy 😉) Home Maintenance post today, talking about yard and tree care in the autumn season!

I absolutely love having trees on our small property, as well as throughout our neighborhood; they make it feel more residential, even though we’re pretty centrally located within the most densely populated / urban part of Seattle.

Now that we’re well into November, both of our trees have completely shed all of their leaves onto our lawn and it’s time to clean them up before winter fully arrives. Today I’m sharing all of available options for dealing with fallen leaves and which method we determined was the best choice for our home and situation.



The most popular options are:

Leave them alone: This is an okay method if (a) you live in a part of the country where you don’t get much rain / snow (if you do live that kind of climate, a damaging fungus can end up growing in your yard if you ignore your leaves!!), (b) you are interested in “insulating” your yard for winter / slowing weed growth, and/or (c) you don’t give a hoot about how your yard looks. 🤪

Rake & Remove: A good method if you get a decent amount of rain / snow, placing everything that you collect from pruning / raking into a yard waste bin to be collected by your city (the bins are typically provided by your city if they offer yard waste collection, but if you want to purchase your own bin, I suggest this one).

Rake into Compost Piles: An excellent method if you have the time and/or passion because this process requires regular turning of the leaves and maintaining a certain moisture level.

Mow into “Mulch”: Another excellent method if you live in a drier climate and own a lawn mower. You’ll want to be sure that the leaves are dried out and crunchy! Then just run your lawn mower over them (breaking them down into tiny pieces!) and then just leave them where they are because they’ll now serve as a “mulch” to protect your garden, shrubs and trees!



We get sooo many days of rain here in the PNW and as a result the leaves end up becoming a nasty sludge if left alone so we prefer to remove the leaves by raking them from our yard. Because we have such a small property, we don’t own a lawn mower which eliminates the shredding-into-mulch option for us, and I’m just going to be honest — I’m not dedicated enough for the composting method (I mean, who wants to add the task of regularly going outside in inclement weather to churn leaves for proper decomposition? Not this girl… 🙅🏼‍♀️).



Additionally, we put up gutter guards on our house a couple of years ago to keep twigs / leaves (and critters!) out of our gutters, which means that everything gets [purposely] redirected from our roof to our yard (read: we end up with a pretty thick blanket of leaves to rake from our small property).




Another really important thing to do regarding regular tree maintenance is to hire an arborist to come out to your property and check your trees every couple of years; this way the trees can be routinely pruned for their health. If the trees are growing close to your house, their limbs should be trimmed (read: trained) to grow away from your home in order to avoid any damage. Most importantly, the arborists will assess the health of your trees and let you know if they have any decay that requires special maintenance (in hopes to extend the life of your tree!) or they will let you know any of them require removal.

> If you live in the Seattle area, this is the company that we use and have been very happy with their services and expertise.



I’m trying to share things with you as I learn about them because I swear there’s so much that I wasn’t aware of before we bought our house! What other yard and or gardening questions do you guys have (if any)? Let me know in the comments section below.

Happy leaf-gathering! 😂

xx, Natalie



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