Leave Those Leaves On Lawns

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), has some green advice for people wishing to avoid back-breaking yard work this fall: leave a layer or two of leaves on your property.

The not-for-profit says leaving fallen leaves in your yard is a small act of nature conservation that can support backyard biodiversity in many ways.

"Those will break down and enrich your soil similar to when you go for a walk in the forest. Those will break down and will do the same in your lawn," said national media relations director Andrew Holland.

As leaves break down, they transform into a natural mulch, which helps enrich the soil and suppress weeds.

Samantha Knight, an ecologist and national conservation science manager, says leaves can provide important overwintering habitat for many species.

“Many animals, such as toads, frogs and some moths and butterflies, have adapted to hibernate in the leaf litter,” says Knight. “The leaves provide an insulating blanket, which can help protect these animals from the cold and temperature fluctuations during the winter.”

The NCC says thick piles of leaves can impact the growth of grass and other plants come spring, but leaving a light covering can improve the health of our gardens and lawns.

"If you have too many leaves on them it will smother the grass and damage it. When people rake a big pile of leaves on the lawn but leave them there that is when you see these big brown mild spots on your lawn, "Holland said.

With about 80 per cent of Canadians living in towns and cities, backyard biodiversity is becoming increasingly important.

“Nature conservation isn’t just about conserving large intact pieces of wilderness, it’s about supporting nature on all scales, down to the collective action we can all take in our own backyards,” says Knight.

People wanting to join in can register for NCC’s Small Acts of Conservation program and enter for a prize package at natureconservancy.ca.

Original article at: https://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/348883/National-conservation-group-encourages-residents-to-leave-some-leaves-behind-this-fall

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