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MASTERING YOUR GARDEN: It's peak season for Fall foliage in East Texas - what to do when those leaves fall

Before you bag those leaves, listen up! Here's why our Master Gardeners suggest "leafing it be"

TYLER, Texas — It's peak season for fall foliage in East Texas and this year has been a vibrant wonderland for leaf peepers. 

With gorgeous hues of yellow, orange and red painting our landscape some may see those vibrant colors as more yard work to come once the trees go bare.

However, volunteers Andie Rathbone and Jolana Damkroger with the Smith County Master Gardeners say those leaves can bring a big benefit to your garden. 

"Fall in East Texas is an exquisite time of the year," said Damkroger. "The leaves will decompose and go in to the soil, enriching the soil that you have making your plants even healthier."

When it comes to managing your leaves, Rathbone suggests making it easy by letting the yard equipment do the work

"You can rake them up but you don't want to put them in a plastic bag and send them to the landfill," explained Rathbone. "You can use a mulching mower or I know some people that have even used their car to slowly drive over a pile to chop them up"

"We mulch ours up with the mower and we take the sweeper behind so it's in one contained area," agreed Damkroger. "I take them in handfuls and place it around plants to protect things" 

The leaves act as a thermal blanket as our plants adjust to the new Winter season and the temperatures that come along with it and as the leaves or pine needles break down, it offers a natural mix of organic matter filled with nutritional value your landscape will love. 

For more on leaf management, check out more with Master Gardener from our previous segment.

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