Letter: Don’t blow away your helpful leaves 

November 5, 2023

I am 74 with severe arthritis in several joints. In an effort to reduce noise pollution and to help the planet return to a healthier carbon dioxide balance, I am myself dealing with leaf fall on my property this year. I rake for about half an hour when there is sufficient leaf build-up, making piles that I stuff into a big trash bag, then haul it to somewhere useful like my leaf mold composting pen or around the azaleas, rhododendrons, roses, or spread as a blanket over rotting lily of the valley, or pile into the depths of a flowerbed.  So far, I haven’t suffered injury and frankly it is a lot more interesting than using the exercise bicycle. 
Leaves take one to two years to decompose into valuable leaf mold, a soil improver that increases the soil’s aeration and water retention. It can be used as a seed sowing compost. While decomposing it suppresses weed growth by blocking sunlight. It is vital habitat for wee things that useful bigger things eat. Seems a waste to blow such a good thing away if you can keep it. 
Alexandra Hewer, 
Monument Street