Let them all drop: advice from an easy-care gardener

Wait until all the leaves have fallen and then, only then, and not before, remove them if you must. And use a rake. Put the leaves in a compost pile and save on lawn-and-leaf bags. That’s the Austin way. It’s cheap and it’s quiet. Even better is just to let the leaves disintegrate where they fall, as they naturally will do. In no event use a leaf-blower. And if you can’t resist employing power aids, or, worst of all, employing people who employ power aids, don’t pretend that an electric blower is somehow less maddening to hear than a gas-powered one. Although perhaps those who defend the electric blowers have entirely lost their high-frequency hearing as well as all consideration for their neighbors. And never get out that blower to chase a half-dozen little leaf scraps around that postage-stamp lawn for hours at a time. Nobody cares how your lawn, if you have one, looks with a leaf or two or more sullying its sterility. Over-involvement with lawn stuff reveals a high suburban-mentality quotient. Next: “If that plant wants to die, let it, and get one that wants to grow.”

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