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Love'em and Leave'em
Mayor’s Corner
10/18/13

Love’em and leave’em: Mulch your leaves instead of dragging them to the curb for pick up.

Croton-on-Hudson is privileged to have neighborhoods filled with trees, lawns and landscaped gardens. Every spring, summer and fall, however, we throw away nature’s valuable resources—leaves and grass clippings.

The Village’s “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em” mulching campaign is a sustainable alternative that will add valuable material back to lawns and gardens. We are encouraging all landscapers and property owners to mulch mow leaves and grass clippings and leave them in place.

The benefits of leaf and grass mulch mowing (shredding in place) include:

  • A healthy property: Mulching recycles nutrients into the soil to feed lawns & plants, provides a free natural fertilizer, and helps retain moisture.~
  • Saving time and effort: Mulching leaves in place is easier and faster than raking or blowing them to the curb.~
  • Helps the environment: Transporting and disposing of leaves wastes energy and contributes to pollution. Also, leaf piles block streets and traffic, clog storm drains, and result in excess nutrient runoff (phosphorus & nitrogen) polluting our waterways.~
Once you love’em and leave’em on your own lawn, you’ll never go back to dragging all your leaves to the curb for pick up.  

With this “love’em and leave’em approach, you no longer need to rake leaves into a pile. Just mow them down where they fall.  In our yard, I typically wait until our biggest maple drops her leaves. Then I mow the lawn 2 or 3 times, mulching all the leaves until their cut up remains settle into the grass.

After this mulching, the lawn looks like you have spilled “tea leaves” on it for a few weeks. By the next spring, your lawn’s thatch will be richer and thicker. You may not need to feed it at all.

The Village spends a considerable amount (approaching six figures!) each year to vacuum up the leaves deposited on the curb and export them out of the Village.  This whole process of exporting organic yard waste makes neither economic nor ecological sense.

Will you help us reduce that expense, while enriching your own yard?

Here is a 30 second video on “how to” love’em and leave’em:


Homeowners: For more information: http://www.leleny.org/p/homeowners.html

Landscapers: For more information: http://www.leleny.org/p/landscapers.html