Leaving Leaves (and the magical life beneath)

Why am I (mostly) leaving my leaves alone?

I love leaves! They are beautiful, not to mention beneficial.

Ecologically, leaves serve many purposes.
Natural (and free) mulch to protect plants from brutal winter temperatures.
Wildlife habitat. Leaves are home to salamanders, chipmunks, box turtles, toads, shrews, earthworms, many insects species.
Natural (and free) fertilizer. As they decompose, leaves add plenty of nutrients to the soil.

It has always seemed unnatural to me that folks rake them up to display browning winter grass. Seems like that grass is just begging for a blanket!

Some even put them in plastic bags to be hauled to the landfill – what a waste!

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