Leave the Leaves? Maybe, but not in Charlotte Streets
Do you ever wonder if fall got its name from the leaves dropping on your lawn?
It’s that time of year, and area lawn maintenance companies and homeowners have started the routine of mowing, blowing, raking and bagging.
You’ve got options for what to do with leaves, but here’s what you’d better not do: Move them into the street.
Charlotte, like many cities, fines homeowners ($50) for leaving yard waste in the road or blocking the sidewalk. Beyond being unsightly, loose leaves also clog storm drains, causing myriad problems.
James Stewart, of highly rated J&E Lawn Care, tells his customers that while he will take the leaves away, they may want to keep them to turn back into the soil or to serve as mulch in beds. Experts say it may be a good idea to let some leaves stay.
“I tell my customers ‘more leaves, less weeds’,” Stewart says. As he mows the leaves, Stewart says, he can pulverize them to nearly dust, or he can bag the pieces and neatly distribute them in natural areas or beds to provide a mulch-like insulation.
If you’d like to leave the leaf fragments in beds or around trees, he suggests wetting them down so that they don’t blow back into the lawn and also adding insecticide occasionally, so that pests don’t make a home in them.
Stewart, who has been in business in Charlotte for 18 years, reminds homeowners that this is a season of both mowing and blowing. “The grass is still growing, so you don’t want to let those leaves lie heavy on the yard or it will kill the lawn,” he says. “Around here, the grass isn’t going dormant till it gets cold, and that could be Thanksgiving or later.”
And as you’re considering leaf cleanup, don’t forget the roof.