There really is a good reason behind me saying that leaves on your lawn isn't such a bad thing and I'll give you a few reasons as to why that is;
1. Let them stay for a bit, until they are crunchy and mow them into little bits and then leave them. Really it is great mulch for your lawn. It will help keep weed growth down and add natural nutrients back into the soil. It's way better than the expensive bagged stuff.
2. Rake them whole into flower beds and around trees as mulch, as little as two to three inches can do wonders for over wintering bulbs and protecting native plants. The insulation it gives might make a difference for new plants, too. It also gives a home to overwintering insects (I hear ya but some are good bugs too) and small animals. Birds and squirrels often use these areas for foraging too.
3. They are also great to put them into your compost.. Not a composter, many others are, place a listing on craigslist or your community facebook page for free leaves. You'll be surprised how many responses you might get! Don't want strangers coming to your house wandering around , never fear lots of communities will pick up leaves for community projects and composting. Check with your local community garden they often welcome leaves for composting.
4. Do you have an area that you'd like to make into a garden next year or raised beds? Rake those leaves into that area and layer them with paper bags, newspaper and cardboard. Then walk away. Come spring you'll have a nice grass free area to work with, and ready made mulch!
5. And of course if you have a garden make use of the leaves by working them into the soil. Again leave a few inches on top for weed control. Earthworms will quickly move and work the soil for you!
6. Don't forget to pick up a few interesting ones for art projects while your out there too!
7. The main thing is that they don't end up in plastic in a landfill! If you can't use them please pass the bounty on to someone who can! They aren't doing any good being buried in trash..
We have had the strangest weather this year, not much color in our leaves. Most are still hanging on and I can tell you that I won't be doing anything with them until they are all down..lol.
Have a great Fall and don't be too hard on those leaves!
We've finally gotten some blue skies but not much else in the leave color scheme this year..