In Calgary, fall cleanup is a fact of life during this time of year. Once the snow comes, it could be here for good — and if you haven’t cleaned the autumn leaves off your property, your grass and other plants could suffer next spring. Large amounts of leaves left to decompose on your lawn and in your garden can cause plant diseases and nutritional deficiencies in your grass and perennials.
You have a few options at your disposal when it comes to fall leaf removal. First, you can simply rake your lawn, collect the dead leaves, and drop them off at a municipally operated leaf collection point, or turn them into mulch or compost. If you’re looking for leaf dropoff points, contact the City of Calgary to find the one nearest you. To make compost from leaves, follow these simple directions:
- Create a small, covered makeshift enclosure, or collect the leaves in a barrel or other large container
- Let the leaves decompose over the winter
- Come spring, start to mix around the decomposed leaves every three or four weeks to ensure nutrients are spread evenly
- At the end of the summer, use this compost on your lawn or in your garden to boost grass health and soil fertility for next year
Another alternative is to use a mulching mower on your lawn, which will reduce the leaves to less than 10 percent of their original size. This means they will decompose much faster, and the nutrients they will provide can be quickly absorbed by your grass. You’ll see the benefits next spring, when your lawn grows in thicker, greener and healthier.
Finally, if you or your spouse is a gardener, you can use the leaves you’ve raked in your garden soil. Simply mix 4 to 6 inches’ worth of leaves through the top 10 inches of your garden soil; they will decompose right inside the ground, releasing nutrients that will boost your soil’s fertility next spring.
If you’ve delayed your Calgary fall cleanup and you already have leaves buried under snow, don’t worry — it’s not too late to take action. If a chinook comes, the snow will probably melt and you’ll have another opportunity to remove the leaves from your lawn and garden. However, you can also get rid of leaves even if they’re already buried under snow. Simply use a sturdy rake with both hands, knowing that you are going to have to pull a little bit of extra weight. As an alternative, you can use a snow blower to grind the leaves into instant mulch, which will be evenly distributed across your lawn.
One thing to watch for if the snow strikes before all the leaves are off your trees is excess weight on the branches. If tree branches are left to bear too much weight, they could break off and potentially cause damage to your home or property. You can avoid this by manually removing snow from main tree branches if a heavy snowfall occurs before all the leaves have fallen off. It’s a simple fix that could save you a lot of headaches and hassles.
If you need any further Calgary fall cleanup tips, or if you’d like to benefit from the expertise and experience of professional service, trust the professionals here at Mirage Landscaping. We are a leading provider of residential and commercial landscaping services in the greater Calgary area, offering a complete range of lawn care and landscaping services, as well as snow removal, spring cleanup and fall cleanup services.