How to Mower-Mulch Leaves

by Daisy on 01/29/2010

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The leaves on the lawn in my yard don’t satisfy my leaf craving, so I go trolling the curb for bags and bags of my neighbors’ leaves, too.  I’m sure I raise some eyebrows, like when I raid their cardboard on recycle day, but I can’t help it.

I could (and do) put them as is in the compost heap, but I really prefer them mulched.  They decompose faster and easier when they’ve been pulverized.

Here are the two big bags from the top picture, emptied out:

Then I spread them out with a rake thin enough to mow:

After mowing:

Where did they go?

Here they are, raked into rows:

This is more than the two bags.  More like 8 or 10.

It can go on the compost pile to layer with greens for awesome compost or use it as mulch.



{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna January 29, 2010 at 10:22 am

I’m a huge fan of stealing bags of leaves off the curb in the fall. Unfortunately, I live far from any curbside pickup, so I have to depend on my mom to grab them in town, then I pick them up when I go to visit. I could use hundreds of bags, but usually only end up with about 30. 🙂

Tanya Walton January 29, 2010 at 11:27 am

Maybe you should try buying one of the leaf hoovers…my parents have one that shreds the leaves as it picks them up and then you can just empty the bag wherever you want to…easy!!

Kathy January 29, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I do that with all the yard trimmings and end of the garden season plants. I pull out all the plants, trim bushes, etc then mow away! They break down so much faster. I throw some to the chickens. They love their greens in small sizes.

Phyllis January 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Oh my goodness gals. I’ve got 30+ massive oaks. When do you want to come get the leaves? In the fall we are astonished at how much tissue these babies drop — and then they proceed to make it all again and push it out in the spring!

CarrieK January 29, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Great idea! Are you mowing the leaves with a push mower or a regular, loud one? How many passes does it take to get them small? Are any leaves poisonous to chickens? I have pin oak, maple, ginko and yew. And a lot of needles (pine and doug fir) that I’m sure will get in there too.

Tomato Lady January 29, 2010 at 10:23 pm

CarrieK–It’s a small, traditional mower. One pass usually does it. Here is an extensive list of plants toxic to poultry:
PoultryHelp
I didn’t see any of yours listed.

CarrieK January 31, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Many thanks!!!

Larinda January 29, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I have fed my chickens alfafa for many years and they clean up the alfafa pellets under the rabbit pens and never did loose a chicken from that. In the winter I would put alfafa in their pen for them to scrach in . And seem to help spark them in with their laying eggs. All I know is Alfafa is high in protein so to be the top of the list for chickens. I do know chickens won’t eat things unless they are being starved.

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