Zach’s Weather Whys: What to do with leftover leaves

Zach's Weather Whys

CENTRAL ILLINOIS — Welcome to this week’s edition of Zach’s Weather Whys.

We’ve already had a few rounds of winter weather this fall in Central Illinois. Snow-covered yards made it a challenge to rake leftover leaves, now it’s almost winter.

What should you do with those pesky leaves? Should you leave them be or try to rake them?

They actually function as a natural organic fertilizer for the soil.

Here are a few ways to use that colorful mess in your yard.

If you simply mow over the leaves, the shreds will gradually decompose over the winter and feed your grass. The remnants of the decomposition are actually called leaf mold. That’s what your garden ultimately needs to thrive. You can spread chopped up leaves over your garden or shrubbery – your plants will thank you.

It also works to protect products such as strawberries from freeze-thaw cycles, which are a common occurrence with fall’s wild temperature swings. But, avoid using whole leaves, which will keep air and nutrients from reaching the goods.

Storing root vegetables becomes a breeze with leaf compost. Choose a cool and humid spot, use layers of leaves with different types of rooted vegetables sandwiched between.

If you’re tired of the constant crunching under your feet, just put those red, yellow and orange ornaments of autumn to good use.

Join me next time for another segment of Zach’s Weather Whys.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.