Leave your leaves!
Here's a side-by-side comparison I experienced to explain why. One of our customers has two rent houses next door to each other. While working at one of the properties, I realized why the soil health was so very different at these two homes. It was the tenants!
One was an interior designer and wanted her home to look “perfect.” Her boxwood hedges were expertly trimmed, and all was perfectly neat and tidy. Not a leaf was to be found on the ground. But her plants looked tired and somewhat pitiful!
The other renter was from Ireland, and very protective of his leaves. When we started digging in his yard, we found nothing but rich soil and vigorous, healthy plants.
Why the difference? The soil in the neat and tidy yard had become hard and barren because all the organic matter plants need had been whisked away by years of leaf blower use. While the Irishman’s yard may not have looked pristine, his plants were lush and robust – healthy specimens! He allowed nature to do its job. He let his leaves fall from the trees and decompose to add organic matter to the soil, so the plants could grow and thrive.