Autumn is rapidly approaching, causing home and business owners throughout the region to ask themselves one question: What if I don’t rake my leaves this fall? It’s a common dilemma for many of us; we all love the vibrant red, orange, and gold foliage on our trees. However, once they land our lawn (and the temperatures begin to drop), we find ourselves struggling to find the time, energy, and motivation to rake them off the grass and dispose of them properly.
Chances are, leaving the leaves on your lawn will not cause significant, long-term damage to your grass and gardens. However, there are some considerations to bear in mind when determining if raking should make your fall agenda. Some advantages to raking include:
A thin scattering of leaves on your lawn is usually not cause for alarm, as the gusts of autumn winds are generally enough to scatter them if left alone. However, if you find a thick layer of leaves on your lawn for weeks at a time, you should absolutely consider removing them from your property. A dense mat of foliage can clump together, preventing light and air from penetrating into the grass beneath. If left alone, these leaves can deprive the property of crucial nutrients, eventually killing the lawn. Once spring arrives, you may find large patches of dead grass that will require reseeding.
Leaving fallen foliage on your property may also cause fungal disease throughout your grass. As leaves and debris begin to rot on your lawn, you may start to find signs of pink or gray “snow mold” infesting your grass.
The leaves, twigs, and branches in your yard are a beacon for a multitude of pests. Insects, mice, voles, and even a variety of insects may begin to use your backyard as their new hangout place, ravaging your grass and gardens when they do.
Finally, allowing the foliage to fall on your property without removal can simply prove annoying. Clumps of leaves can clog your gutters and drains. Additionally, wet leaves are slippery leaves that may cause you or your family to fall and suffer an injury.
It’s important to remember that the fallen leaves on your lawn do offer some advantages as well. A leaf’s organic material provides a wealth of nutrients that promote soil and plant health throughout your property as well as encourage beneficial wildlife like earthworms to build their home in your yard. Additionally, as the leaves feed the microorganisms in your lawn, it can prevent weeds and diseases from gaining a winter foothold.
Rather than eliminating this free food source completely, many home and business owners opt instead to mow the fallen leaves. Running a lawn mower over dry leaves 3-4 times is usually enough to shred the foliage into small pieces. Eventually, the shredded foliage will settle in between your grass blades, decomposing and nourishing the soil for enhanced strength and health that sets your lawn up for a vigorous, robust spring season.
Not sure what you should do with the foliage on your lawn this autumn? Four Seasons Landscape Management has a fall clean-up service for you! Contact us today to discuss your options with a trained and experienced landscaper.