Advertisement

Leave the leaves alone: Nature group tells Canadians not to rake their lawns

Canada's leading conservation group is asking people not to rake their lawn. Alexander Quon/Global News

Good news for the lazy: Canada’s leading conservation group is asking people not to rake their lawn.

“It’s good news if you don’t like raking the leaves because leaving them on the ground is the environmentally friendly thing to do,” said Andrew Holland, a spokesman for the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

He said the leaves provide a space for many small creatures to survive the winter.

“They provide habitat for butterflies, moths and different kinds of insects that can overwinter under the leaves. It’s also good for frogs and toads. The insects that overwinter provide food for birds in the spring,” he said.

READ MORE: Nature Conservancy of Canada announces large sugar maple natural reserve

Dan Kraus, the NCC’s senior conservation biologist, said people can also help migratory and resident birds survive winter by not clearing up their gardens.

Story continues below advertisement

“Fruits and seeds that remain on flowers and shrubs are a crucial food source that sustains many songbirds, such as goldfinches, jays and chickadees,” said Kraus.

“Overwintering insects in our yards also provide an important food source for birds. Providing winter habitats for our native birds and insects is just as important as providing food and shelter during the spring and summer.”

Holland said if you’re worried about smothering the lawn or having clogged gutters, the leaves can be tucked under bushes or in other areas away from your house.

“These leaves provide good mulch for scrubs and help prevent the freeze/thaw cycle in the roots through the winter,” he said.

WATCH: Beaconsfield residents irked by handling of leaf blower ban

Click to play video: 'Beaconsfield residents irked by handling of leaf blower ban' Beaconsfield residents irked by handling of leaf blower ban
Beaconsfield residents irked by handling of leaf blower ban – Jul 6, 2018

Lawn care company, Scott’s Canada, recommends using a lawn mower to mulch leaves into tiny pieces on your lawn and applying a fall fertilizer that’s rich in nitrogen.

Story continues below advertisement

“You want to reduce your leaf clutter to dime-size pieces. You’ll know you’re done when about half an inch of grass can be seen through the mulched leaf layer. Once the leaf bits settle in, microbes and worms get to work recycling them,” the website states.

For those who do like the look of a well-raked lawn, many cities across the country collect and compost leaves for use in gardens and flower beds.

In parts of Toronto, homeowners are even allowed to rake the leaves to the edge of the roadway on specific dates, where specialized equipment will come along and remove them.

Sponsored content