SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — Leaf pickup started this week in Spokane and people all across the city have begun their annual chore of raking leaves.

As fallen leaves start to get cleared out of the way, it turns out they’re useful for something.

If you’re looking to add a new element to your garden, raking up the leaves will keep one addition away because leaf litter is the perfect breeding ground for caterpillars.

They show up during the winter months and, come spring, they’re ready to blossom into a butterfly garden.

That doesn’t mean the leaves won’t come with challenges.

On thin roads, the leaves become a bit problematic because they take up a lot of space that cars need.

If too many leaves build up, they can also clog up gutters and drains. The drains can cause big issues if heavy rain comes in because excess water has nowhere to escape.

However, the leaves aren’t bad for your yard as long as large piles don’t begin to form. If spread out they can actually act as a mulch to keep yards healthier during cold stretches.

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