There are two things I don't like about the end of October and the beginning of November. It's about camping season and leaves.

Yea, I know, one does not have anything to do with the other. First, at the end of October, my campground closes for the season. Depressing is a good way to put it. It is a six-month wait until May 1st when the campground opens again. I'll survive, though...I think.

The other thing is about leaves. I dread this time of the year when the leaves have fallen off the trees and covered most of my backyard. My weekend task is to rake them up along with a bit of help from my leaf blower. Before a few trees were taken down in my backyard, this project would take a few hours to complete.

Man Blowing Leaves Along a Path in a Park
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But wait! What's this I hear that raking up the leaves on your property might not be necessary. Well, that had my attention. According to the Leave Leaves Alone website, raking up leaves can rob your yard of natural compost, and leaf blowing can cause diesel and particulate matter pollution when using gas-powered leave blowers.

So what can you do? The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation suggests a few things. One way is to mow over them with a mulching mower. Your lawn will love the nutrients, without being smothered in a lawn covered in leaves.

Or you can take that yard mulch, and place them in your flower or vegetable garden. Also, depending on your municipality, you can rake leaves out to the curb or bag them for pickup. Many communities compost those leaves and then offer them to the public. Check with our local municipality for their policies, if any.

And one more thing - the NYS DEC reminds you that it is illegal to burn leaves in the Empire State. The reason is that the smoke contains dangerous compounds, it can irritate the lungs, is harmful to children, the elderly, and persons with respiratory or cardiovascular disease, and of course, the fire could spark an accidental brush, forest, or house fire.

Brush of a certain size may be burned in New York State. For more information check out the burning regulations for details.

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