K-State Research and Extension news service


Manhattan, KS— Beautiful fall leaves have begun to cover lawns and will continue to fall throughout November. Kansas State University horticulture expert Ward Upham said it’s important to remove leaves from home lawns.


“Although a scattering of leaves won’t harm the lawn, excessive cover prevents sunlight from reaching turfgrass plants,” Upham said. “Turf left in this state for an extended period will be unable to make the carbohydrates needed to carry it through the winter.”


There are a few different options for handling fallen leaves Upham said, listing a few options: composting, direct incorporation into gardens, and mulching.


Incorporating leaves directly into gardens is an easy method of making good use of leaves. To do so:


Another easy and effective option is mulching by mowing the leaves with a mulching mower and letting the shredded leaves filter into the turf canopy.


“Mulching will be the most effective if done often enough that leaf litter doesn’t become thick,” Upham said.


Roasting Pumpkin Seeds 


Pumpkins are the perfect fall decoration and could be put to even more use this season by roasting their seeds for a delicious snack.


“Consider roasting seeds before freezing temperatures destroy the pumpkin fruit,” Upham said, adding some ideas on how to roast the seeds at home:

“Flavor can be enhanced by adding a sprinkling of salt to the oiled seeds,” Upham said.


Upham and his colleagues in K-State’s Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources produce a weekly Horticulture Newsletter with tips for maintaining home landscapes. The newsletter is available to view online or can be delivered by email each week.


Interested persons can also send their garden- and yard-related questions to Upham at wupham@ksu.edu, or contact your local K-State Research and Extension office.