Fall Cleanup Tips: Why Leaves Change and How to Deal With it

Ready or not, the leaves are changing and fall clean-ups are right around the corner! Read the article below for tips on how to make the most of it. 

With fall right around the corner, everyone is excited to see the leaves change color. Soon neighborhoods will be full of orange, yellow, and red colors! While this time of year is beautiful and exciting, many landscapers often feel overwhelmed by the amount of work they’ll need to do to keep up with the fall cleanup. If you want to know more about why leaves change and how you can use them to your advantage in the landscaping industry, read the information below!

Why Leaves Change Color and Drop

The mystery behind why leaves change in the fall is actually not that complicated. As temperatures drop, leaves stop their chlorophyll-making process which allows them to photosynthesize. Since trees go dormant in the winter, falling leaves are a sign of them getting ready to go to sleep for a while.

The loss of chlorophyll explains the green changing, but not the red and orange colors that can sometimes develop. Not all trees turn an attractive fall color. In fact, many trees turn a dry brown color. However, some trees produce “red anthocyanin pigments” which bring new shades to the leaf’s appearance. If you’ve seen a gorgeous Red Maple in October, you know exactly what that means. It is truly stunning!

Using Leaves as Fertilizer

One of the easiest ways to use up fallen leaves is to mulch them and use them as fertilizer. Even though the leaves are dead, they still are rich in nitrogen and other nutrients. Mulching them and spreading them over your grass before the ground freezes over will add a new layer of organic matter that most lawns desperately need.

To use leaves as fertilizer, simply wait for your last mow of the season. Instead of raking up the leaves, leave them on the grass and go over them with a mulching lawnmower. This should be relatively easy and shouldn’t take a lot of extra steps. You might want to use a rake afterward to evenly distribute the mulch.

Use Leaves as Insulation

If you’re like most property owners or property caretakers, you’ll end up having many leaves to spare after mulching them. Something else you can do is bag them and use them as insulation. 

To do this, make sure your leaves are dry. Use bags to collect the leaves and fill them as much as you can compacting them as needed. After filling multiple bags, you can place them around the inside or outside of a shed or garage that doesn’t have insulation. This provides an extra layer of warmth to protect your equipment or whatever else you have stored!

Deep Watering

As temperatures drop, the soil will begin to harden. This will make it more difficult for water to penetrate through the ground to reach tree roots. Towards the end of fall, before the ground freezes, you’ll want to water your plants “deeply”. This means turning your sprinklers on for a longer period of time

While you’re watering, make sure that the water isn’t running off the soil. If you notice streams of water forming around your property, it may be a sign that the ground is too hard and the water isn’t actually penetrating through the soil. In this case, it might be too late for a deep water. Getting your tree roots as much moisture as possible before winter will help them come back stronger in the spring.

Use these tips to get the most out of your fall clean-up this year! If you have questions or need assistance with your fall maintenance in Utah Valley, UT, be sure to give our professional landscapers a call today.

Fall preparation is one of our specialties! 
Elite Grounds offers residential and commercial services. 
Reach us at 801-785-5973 or office@elitegrounds.com