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Turn Fallen Leaves into Fertilizer

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As Mother Nature crowns the trees in your yard with fiery reds, vibrant yellows and flourescent orange, you can easily get swept up in the romance of the season - until those leaves turn brown, drop from the trees and cover your lawn with a suffocating layer of debris. No more celebration. Time to start planning for the hours of backbreaking raking and bagging work ahead of you.

Mulching the leafy lawn debris - using a rotary mower to chop leaves into confetti-sized pieces that stay on the lawn - is a cost-effective, back-saving, and environmentally friendly way to deal with fallen leaves while providing nutrients to your lawn's soil and giving your lawn a good head start for the Spring.

Mulching is easy. Take the lawn catcher off your rotary mower and run over the leaves, a few times if necessary, until you start to see more green than brown. That means that the now shredded leaves have fallen between the grass blades and are ready to be transformed by the microbes in the soil into root rich nutrients for your lawn.

After mulching, it's a good idea to feed your lawn with a slow-acting fall lawn fertilizer to help build strong, deep roots for a better foundation and a more robust lawn next year. The nitrogen in the fertilizer will also help the mulched leaves decompose faster. Keep excess fertilizer off driveways and sidewalks as this protects nearby waterways by keeping the chemicals in the fertilizer out of the runoff.

Safely store your lawnmower and other garden tools in a variety of rubbermaid outdoor storage sheds. When the work is done sit down and relax on an outdoor storage bench that also provides a handy place to store your seat cusions and grilling gear.

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