Raking up and disposing of leaves is a common garden task in the fall, but we recommend you leave the leaves alone.
Leaf litter can actually be good for your yard for several reasons; it provides food and shelter to good beneficial insects which then provide sustenance to toads, lizards and birds. A yard without thrushes and towhees mining for morsels in the litter is a yard devoid of life.
It can also feed the soil when used as mulch. Mulching with leaves is an inexpensive and renewable way to achieve garden gold. Just use your mower to chop dried leaves into shreds first, then spread the shreds around the base of trees and shrubs and over perennial beds. The finer, the better.
MFBG Horticulture Managers Katie Dickson and Robby Davidson agree: Re-purpose the leaf litter by concentrating it in flowerbeds or at the base of shrubs, so that it’ll break down and return nutrients to the earth.
Or, you can compost the leaves in a pile or rotating drum.