Thursday, January 29, 2015
How Leaf Blowers Increase Erosion
It's a bleeding of sorts, not of blood but of clay eroding from a yard that was meticulously cleared of leaves in the fall. The ground was left bare and unprotected from the impact of raindrops that loosen soil and then carry it into the street. Leaves not only provide a protective mulch for the soil and fertilizer as they slowly break down, but also provide habitat. Birds, in need of protein to feed their young, can often be seen in the spring flipping leaves over in search of the insects that live underneath.
The homeowner surely thought it was the right thing to do, to blow all the leaves out into the street and have a nice tidy yard. But the result is not so tidy, neither for the street nor for the sidewalk months later. A mulch mowing, rather than a leaf blowing, would have ground the leaves up and deposited them back on the soil, where they could do some good in a tidy enough way.
Posted by Stephen Hiltner