If you have a lot of trees in your yard, the summertime shade can make spending time in your backyard pleasant. In the fall when all the leaves end up on your lawn don't consider the mess a chore, because removing and using the leaves can be helpful to your yard's landscaping. Here are four reasons that you should clean up and use the leaves in your backyard landscaping.

Large Amounts of Leaves on Your Lawn Are Bad

If your yard has a small amount of leaves that cover around 10% to 20% of your yard and lawn, it is okay to leave them where they lay.  They will break down over the winter and spring, giving your lawn extra nutrients. If your yard has too many leaves that cover most of the lawn, you will need to remove them from your lawn. 

Leaves that you leave on your lawn will compress together to create a barrier that will seal in moisture and prevent air from getting to your lawn. This layer can smother the lawn over the winter, killing your lawn. 

You also run the risk of allowing gray snow mold to grow on your lawn. A layer of leaves creates the perfect temperature, between 30 to 40 degrees, for gray snow mold to grow. Gray snow mold will eventually go away when the spring weather gets warm enough, but it might kill patches of your lawn, making your landscaping look ugly.

Mulch the Leaves into Your Lawn

To prevent a diseased lawn in the spring, you should collect and mulch your fallen leaves. Using a lawn mower with a mulching blade, collect the mulched leaves into the lawn collection bag on your mower. Once you have mulched the leaves, put them into a trash bag and you can use them for several different landscaping uses. 

One of the best ways to fertilize your lawn is by spreading some of the mulched leaves all over your lawn. Throughout the winter and into next spring the leaves will begin to break down and decompose, fertilizing your lawn. The nitrogen and carbon from leaf compost is going to help your lawn grow lush and green. As the leaves work their way into the soil they will also help feed earth worms and make your soil soft.

Compost the Leaves into Your Garden and Flowerbeds

When you or companies like Kona Land and Water Escapes add mulched leaves to your garden and flowerbeds, you are improving your soil so your vegetation can grow better next year. Mix the shredded leaves into the soil and it will help to soften up hard clay, or add absorbency to sandy soil.

Mulched leaves can also be layered over the top of your soil as an attractive mulch to help keep in soil moisture and help keep the weeds down. Leaves make a free mulch for your yard instead of having to pay for shredded bark or wood chips.

Protect Garden Plants from Freezing

A layer of leaf mulch will help protect flowers, plants, and root vegetables from freezing temperatures and snow. A layer of leaf mulch approximately six inches deep over your flowerbeds can insulate your young plants, protecting them from the winter. 

If you have a bed of carrots in your garden that you are not quite ready to harvest yet, a layer of leaf mulch will keep the carrots from freezing this winter. Once they are covered, you will be able to continue harvesting them for several months. Freshly-harvested carrots would taste great in the middle of winter.

Make sure to collect and use the fall leaves in your yard to help keep your landscaped yard looking and growing healthy next spring.