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What to Do With All Those Leaves.

What to Do With All Those Leaves.

Fall - the air turns cooler, the days get shorter, the trees turn beautiful shades of red, yellow, and orange. Shortly after those beautiful leaves drop to the ground. One option is to leave them be and not worry about them one bit, but various homeowners associations might fuss about this and no one wants to be “that guy” so what are the options for disposing of all of that fall foliage?

Get rid of them

It’s a simple option with multiple ways of achieving it. You can hire it out to a lawn care company or a trash disposal company (follow those links for some great options). Or, You can collect and haul them away yourself. A few locations provided by Sedgwick County that you can drop them off at are:

Brooks C & D Landfill
4100 N. West St.
Wichita, KS
722-0601
Evergreen Recycle
302 W 53rd St North
Wichita, KS
821-9991


A more “green” approach would be to take them to a community compost pile. Ask around see if your neighborhood has one, who knows, you may even find a neighbor who’s willing to take them off your hands for their own compost pile.

Don’t burn them! I’m sure this is the first idea that comes to some people's minds. A nice toasty fire to warm you up after a cold day working in the yard sound great right? Unfortunately, in the city of Wichita, while small contained fires (in a fire pit or similar apparatus) are permitted on one’s property, this only allows for the burning of wood, not leaves.

Another option is you can always blow them into your neighbor's yard. But seriously do you really want to be “that guy”?

Keep them

Keep them

Ok, so you have an odd attachment to your leaves and want to keep them (don’t worry we aren’t judging).  The obvious idea is, of course, make as big of a pile as possible and go play in them (Yes, you’re still allowed to play in leaves even though you’re not a kid anymore).

But, once you’ve made this pile (and hopefully destroyed it playing) what are your options? Well, if that pile is in a conveniently located, out-of-the-way location then you can just leave them there..provided you plan to turn them into a compost pile.

A compost pile is a great way to stay “green” and save yourself some money come spring time when you plant new things. It’s super easy to get started, just pile up your leaves (it helps to chop them up a bit) and the next time you mow your lawn mix the nitrogen-rich green grass clippings into the pile. Add a layer of dirt and a light layer of leaves on top then wet it all down a bit. The leaves will begin to decompose and over time you’ll be left with nutrient rich superfood to fertilize your plants instead of buying it from the store.

Don’t want a pile of leaves laying around your yard? Another option is to attach mulching blades to your lawnmower, then, just mow your lawn like normal (except don’t collect clippings if you normally do). The special blades will chop up the leaves and once they’ve settled into your lawn they get chewed up and decomposed by natural processes leaving your lawn with great natural fertilizer come spring time.

Leaves also make an excellent mulch for use around trees and shrubs, or in flower and vegetable gardens. They help slow the growth of weeds, help retain soil moisture, and eventually they decompose, adding their nutrients to the soil and improving soil structure. If you choose to pursue this route the best option would be to get a leaf blower that has a mulching attachment. These will usually also have a bag attachment that will collect the mulched leaves so you can distribute accordingly.

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