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Get a bird's eye view of our latest renewable energy project, the Grazing Yak Solar Project. Consisting of more than 119,000 panels on 278 acres near Calhan, Colo., Grazing Yak will provide 35 megawatts of electricity to our customers. That is enoug ...

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Published: 11/25/2019  11:00 AM
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Published: 11/12/2019  4:39 PM
​Today, Colorado Springs City Council approved our budget and customer rates for 2020. The 2020 budget is $954.4 million, slightly higher (1.9 percent) than the 2019 approved budget appropriation. "The 2020 budget supports our mission to offe ...

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Published: 11/12/2019  4:28 PM
Untangling holiday lights never made anyone merry. Each year, our family tries to get a little more creative with ways to avoid our growing jumble of tangled up lights. We’ve found new and interesting battery powered decorations, projection lights, ...

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Published: 10/17/2019  10:20 AM
​Work on our Electric and Natural Gas Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) continues as planning goals were established thanks to public input. The Electric and Natural Gas IRPs will consider many views of the future to help determine how we will best ...

Make the most of your fallen leaves

Published: 10/10/2019  8:23 AM
Every year, I look forward to when the trees in my yard turn beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red. But I know what’s next--a thick layer of leaves on my lawn that must be dealt with. Not exactly my idea of a fun autumn afternoon. Luckily, a ...

It's Public Natural Gas Week - A reminder of how both employees and customers help keep our natural gas system safe

Published: 10/8/2019  4:53 PM
​This year, October 6-12 is Public Natural Gas Week, a time when communities such as ours give recognition to one of their most valuable community assets—their publicly owned natural gas utility. At Colorado Springs Utilities, our natural gas emplo ...

Customer Service Week - The Magic of Serving You

Published: 10/8/2019  4:22 PM
​October 7-11 is Customer Service Week, an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis. In 1992, the U.S. Congress proclaimed Customer Service Week a nationally r ...

10 fall tips to use energy and water wisely

Published: 10/2/2019  3:41 PM
​October is Energy Action Month, a time to encourage the community to contribute to sustainability efforts by learning more about energy efficiency and practicing smarter energy use. As the cooler months approach, consider our low-cost or no-cost ti ...

​Public Power: Rich history and bright future

Published: 10/1/2019  4:24 PM
Our early citizens understood the value of public power ownership, voting in 1924 to create their own municipal utility. Today, public power is as relevant and valuable as it was nearly 100 years ago. Colorado Springs Utilities is one of nearly 2,0 ...

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Make the most of your fallen leaves    

  by  Catherine M.  on  10/10/2019

Leaves in lawnEvery year, I look forward to when the trees in my yard turn beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red. But I know what’s next--a thick layer of leaves on my lawn that must be dealt with. Not exactly my idea of a fun autumn afternoon.

Luckily, a few years ago I started seeing reports from university turfgrass researchers stating that mowing over dried leaves on a lawn, then letting the small pieces fall to the soil surface, reduced common lawn weeds the following year. They found that chopping leaves into tiny bits caused them to create “mini-mulch” between grass plants that prevented weed seeds from germinating. As an added benefit, the leaves eventually broke down and add much-needed organic matter to the soil.

These reports inspired me to give it a try, especially because simply mowing over leaves seemed so much easier than raking, bagging and disposing of large piles. A standard power mower works fine; just remove the bag attachment. After trying it for a few years, here’s what I’ve learned:

  • My lawn has fewer weeds. I don’t keep a strict count, but I’ve noticed fewer dandelions, purslane and spotted spurge plants in my grass. The effect is most impressive in spring and summer in the areas of my lawn where the grass is thinner. A few weeds have popped up later in summer, as the leaves have completely broken down by early fall. Nonetheless, it has certainly helped in the early part of the growing season.
  • My grass seems healthier. Part of the benefit of mulching leaves is that they eventually break down and release organic matter to the soil. This benefits the grass because our soils are naturally low in organic matter. The higher the soil organic matter, the healthier roots will be.
  • Mowing works if the leaves are dry. It’s important to mow over the leaves when they are crispy, which allows them to break into pieces small enough to fall to the soil surface. It may take more than one pass to get them small enough. If it rains or snows, the leaves get too soggy to break, so mow them soon after they fall.
  • Don’t leave big clumps or thick mats of leaves. I was surprised that I was able to successfully mow a leaf layer as thick as six inches. But if you see clumps or mats of leaves after you mow over them a few times, rake them up and get them off your lawn. A thick layer of leaves will cause the grass to thin and may encourage snow mold.
  • The leaves only prevent new weeds. If you have an existing weed problem, this method won’t solve your problem. It may, however, slow the rate at which you get new weeds.

I encourage you to give leaf mulching a try. If you decide to try mulching leaves into your lawn, it’s still important to water, mow and fertilize appropriately. Leaves won’t provide all the essentials for a healthy lawn alone. However, mulching has proven to be an effective way to recycle leaves into healthier lawn with fewer weeds. Get more tips for fall landscaping at the Conservation and Environmental Center, 2855 Mesa Road, and at csu.org.


Add a comment


As far as "removing the bag attachment," you should never have one on. Just get a mulching mower and leave it on the lawn - whether it's leaves or grass clippings.

Thursday, October 10, 2019  5:17 PM  Rob Lucey

I've been doing this for over 40 years. My lawn is the envy of all my neighbors.

Friday, October 11, 2019  4:30 PM  Dorian