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Leave the leaves and other fall yard tips

Published in Green Living on October 17, 2022 by  Chelsea Henderson

It’s that time of year… you’re drifting off for a nap on a cool, crisp Saturday, snuggling deep in the blankets, only to be awakened by the loud, steady hum of a leaf blower. Or more likely, multiple leaf blowers.

Here’s the thing: we have been tricked, yes, tricked into thinking that come fall, we have to gather every leaf that falls on our lawn. In fact, fallen leaves provide shelter, food, and habitat for pollinators, birds, and other small wildlife that would otherwise struggle to make it through the winter. Leaving an inch or so of leaves on the ground provides a natural mulch for your yard as well as a tasty buffet for those beneficial critters that will help your garden thrive come spring.

Speaking of thriving spring gardens, did you know that fall is an excellent time to get new plants in the ground? Contrary to popular belief, it won’t hurt the plants if we have an early freeze, but in fact, planting now gives them a leg up so that in the spring, they will emerge stronger and more established.

Other yard tips:

  • No need to “deadhead” plants: just like with the leaves, the seeds can provide vital nutrients to birds over the winter
  • Planting native plants requires less water, weeding, and maintenance, i.e., less of your precious free time (we can offer advice on what plants thrive in the DC Metro area)
  • Consider doing away with all or part of your lawn (another place we waste time, money, chemicals, and water)

But most of all, don’t forget to marvel and enjoy your beautiful yard. 

About Chelsea Henderson

Chelsea is a Realtor® licensed in Maryland. An avid gardener, she is the co-founder of the Cheverly Native Planting Project, a non-profit that encourages planting of native plants in residential and public spaces. She is also a member the Cheverly Community Market Board, a bimonthly seasonal farmer's market. A yogi, fiction and non-fiction writer, and recovering Senate staffer, Chelsea is eager to apply her passion and skills to helping people with their real estate journey.

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