“Leaf” it to Mother Nature to help get your house sold

Autumn is a great time of year to sell your home (the best time of year in my opinion) because Autumn with all its natural beauty can really give your house a shot of curb appeal — for next to nothing! 

Just a few weeks ago, you were probably enjoying the fruits of your labor in your garden and flower beds, visually drinking in the unmatched beauty of the full-blooming dahlias, brilliant-colored sedum, black-eyed Susans, the deep pink to white echinacea, purple salvia, and bold-colored canna, to name just a few, when it may have hit you … literally.

Yup, there it was, that first autumn leaf floating down from its tree branch high above. It may have brushed  lightly against your shoulder before flitting away and racing upward again, then slowly, methodically swaying to and fro downward it came once more until finally coming gently to rest on the lawn far below its original perch. For just a brief moment you may have found yourself mesmerized by its dance, your eyes fixated on its every move. But then realty reared its ugly head as you remembered with a grimace and perhaps an audible groan, that this singular brightly hued pretty little leaf would soon be joined by thousands – nay millions – of other leafs just waiting to ruin a perfectly good Saturday afternoon parked comfortably in front of the TV watching your favorite football team stomp the competition.

Sadly, there’s no getting around it. If you have any bragging rights what-so-ever about your yard and especially if you are attempting to sell your home — you gotta get out and rake. Ah, but did you know you can have the last laugh (well sorta) on all that spent foliage by using it as free mulch?  That’s right, free!

Seriously, leaves?

  • Yup, because leaf mulch enriches the ground by returning nutrients back into the soil.  And here’s a bonus – your lawn and gardens will require less fertilizer and other additives as a result!
  • Leaf mulch helps retain moisture by lowering the soil’s exposure to sun and wind thereby reducing evaporation.
  • By managing your leaves on site, you reduce the need to buy paper yard waste bags.
  • When you add a thick layer of mulch (2 to 3 inches) to your garden it reduces the need for herbicides and can help prevent the growth of weeds.
  • Leaf mulch prevents compaction and erosion of soils from wind and rain by acting like an insulating barrier from the heat in the summer, the cold in the winter and from the wind all year round.
  • And in terms of much-needed curb appeal that when selling your home helps it stand out from the competition, leaves look great all crunched up as mulch. Your mums, ornamental cabbages, and all your fall blooming flowers, will “pop” against a leaf mulch backdrop!
How do you take advantage of this free landscaping bounty?

  • Keep your mower blade sharp and set the blade to about 2.5 inches high and only mow leaves when dry to prevent clumping.
  • Push the lawnmower slowly to give it time to chop up the leaves and be sure to mow leaves when there is no more than 1 inch of leaf litter.
  • When adding mulch to gardens, do not put mulch right up to the base of plants or trees.Try to make the mulch no deeper than 2 to 3 inches.
  • If your lawnmower has a bag attachment, remove the bag to spread mulch evenly over the lawn, and then use the bag to collect some of the mulched leaves in order to easily empty it around trees, shrubs and gardens. If your mower doesn’t have a mulch setting, you may be able to convert your mower to a “mulching munching machine” by purchasing a mulching blade retrofit kit, available at hardware stores and garden centers.
  • If you are fortunate enough to have a lawn service, ask them to leaf mulch.
Oh and don’t forget, before you add mulch to your flower beds, go ahead and plant some eye-catching pops of color with beautiful mounding mums and showy ornamental kale.
And there you have it, free mulch, clean yard, and some added curb appeal most home buyers will find hard to resist!

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