Experts Say Oklahomans Shouldn’t Bag Their Leaves This Fall
The leaves in Oklahoma are just starting to turn into those beautiful fall colors of yellow and red. Soon these leaves will be falling to the ground, scattering and piling up in the yards of every Oklahoman.
And then the leaves are raked up and bagged to go to the local landfill. But environmental experts are urging Oklahomans to not bag their leaves this fall.
If you look around at the trees in your Oklahoma neighborhood, you'll see some fall colors peeking through. Most of the state is seeing low amounts of color as of Tuesday, Oct. 24, according to explorefall.com, and there are even a few areas where they're seeing little to no color. But some areas in northern Oklahoma could be seeing moderate amounts of color.
Oklahoma won't see all the leaves change until late November.
If you fast forward through the fall foliage map on explorefall.com, Oklahoma's leaves won't hit their peak fall color until late November! So a great Thanksgiving outing would be to drive around and see fall colors at some of Oklahoma's best areas for fall foliage.
So why shouldn't Oklahomans bag their leaves?
After the leaves turn colors, they'll soon start falling to the ground! Just about every Oklahoman has memories of their parents raking the leaves and then running into them, scattering the pile of leaves all over again. It's definitely fall fun! And usually after a few times, the leaves are eventually bagged and put to the curb.
But experts are saying that Oklahomans shouldn't bag their leaves and send them off to the landfill. It's actually better for your yard and the environment to leave the leaves on the ground. According to an article from NPR, about 8 million tons of leaves end up in landfills every year. And when the leaves get to the landfill, they don't get enough oxygen to decompose and will end up releasing significant amounts of methane.
What you can do with your leaves instead of bagging them.
Contrary to popular belief, leaves are actually good for your yard! Leaves have an abundant of nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. And when leaves are left on the ground, those nutrients return to the soil and improves the health of your soil and the grass! But there's a few things you can do to maximize their benefits.
- Run your lawn mower over a thin layer of leaves so that the leaves break down more quickly. (Thick layers of leaves will exclude light and the grass will die!)
- If you don't want leaves in your yard, you can rake leaves into a landscape bed to turn into mulch. You can also pile shredded leaves in a garden bad!
So if you plan on keeping your leaves on the ground, make sure you're taking the proper steps to benefit your yard and the environment! Also, remember that Oklahoma winds can blow leaves into drainage systems and can cause flooding, so make sure you're taking care of your neighborhood, too.
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