Editorial: What do you do with all the fallen leaves?

Published 9:56 am Monday, November 2, 2015

We’re officially in the middle of fall, and with that comes the sometimes daunting task of cleaning up leaves.

If you choose to recycle your leaves, consider adding them to your compost pile or spread them as mulch around trees, shrubs and planting beds.

According to the University of Minnesota Extension, leaves help retain soil moisture, lower soil temperatures and slow the growth of weeds. When they decompose, they add nutrients to the soil.

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Leaves can be shredded or left as is when composting or mulching.

If you want to gather your leaves to dispose of offsite, Albert Lea’s transfer station accepts leaves for only $10 a year for city residents or $15 for residents outside of the city limits.

The transfer station, at the intersection of Freeborn County roads 101 and 20, is open from noon to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the end of  November, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The transfer station can be reached by phone at 373-5013.

If you plan to allow the leaves to remain on the lawn, do so with caution and confine the leaves to lawns with only a light covering of leaves, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. The extension office recommends grass blades still be visible through leaves before shredding. Be cautious that too many leaves can smother the grass.