It’s Almost Fall
It’s almost that time of year again. This past weekend we were out in Algonquin Park showing waterfront properties. The sun was out, but the air was chilly. I couldn’t help but notice as we drove along the highway that the leaves had begun to change. I can hear your complaints- “But Jennifer, it’s only August!” Yes, sadly as we head into this last week before labour day weekend, the signs of fall are beginning to show, the nights are cooler and yes, the leaves are starting to change.
Should I or Should I Not?
The BIG question then is, should I rake the leaves? Many of us have long been taught and believed that we should dutifully rake the leaves each fall, however, this may not be the best thing for our grass, lakes, birds, insects and creatures that share our wonderful cottage lands with us.
When we leave our leaves on the grass over the winter we create a space (and leave nesting materials) for many living creatures to winter under including turtles & chipmunks. It also provides a welcome habitat for insects, butterfly pupa and caterpillars. Further in the spring, the insects that wintered in the shelter of the fall leaves, provide a food source for songbirds, while the caterpillars who successfully wintered delight us with a show of beautiful butterflies.
Fallen leaves create a wonderful mulch for our trees and bushes, helping to insulate the roots from the freezing temperatures of the harsh winters. If you don’t care for the “unkept” look of the leaves on the grass, you could consider mulching them. Though this doesn’t provide for the animals, it will provide for your soil and naturally fertilize your lawn and feeds the microbes in your soil. Mulching the leaves can be as simple as running the lawn mower over them. When you mulch the leaves, it enhances your lawns fertility naturally, resulting in a thicker fuller lawn, which as we know will help to suppress weeds. Further it will save you money on commercial fertilizers, thereby reducing the amount of chemical runoff in our lakes. To that point, leaves on the ground will help mitigate runoff into the lake naturally.
Are there places you should rake? YES! Leaves should be removed from driveways, walkways & paths, as wet leaves are slippery. Gutters should be cleaned of all leaves leaving them to flow freely. Decks should be cleared of leaves as a pile of leaves on your wooden deck could result in the wood becoming moldy or even rotting.
Of course, one benefit to you as the cottage owner is more time to enjoy the last few warm days of the year, and to our community as a whole is less “garbage” headed to our landfills.
The Parker Team happily serves Muskoka and Lake of Bays. If you are considering the move, please give us a call.