During fall, most deciduous trees shed their leaves in preparation for the winter season. They do this to conserve resources for survival of the harsh conditions ahead. So, should you rake leaves?
Large amount of leaves that for a dense cover over the grass should be raked. Otherwise, leave small amounts of leaves on your lawn to decompose and add nutrients to the soil.
Some types of trees and shrubs will produce a small amount of leaves that easily decompose and benefit the plants and grass and thus not necessary to remove them. Raking is one of the ways of picking up leaves and dead grass blades that are likely to smother new growth.
Thick layers of leaves are usually harmful to lawn grass and there is need to rake them up. A thick blanket of leaves can block sunlight from reaching the grass and its roots. The leaves are also likely to become wet and smother your grass.
Fallen leaves usually harbor insects and other pests which can be destructive. Animals like molesand skunks will start visiting your yard in hunt for insects and in the process they end up digging holes in yard and tearing up your lawn.
A pile of leaves in your backyard can also be an eyesore especially when they get scattered everywhere. The leaves may also make their way into gutters, streams and waterways. This can lead to flooding or standing water in yard after a downpour.
Is raking leaves bad for your lawn?
While using a rake with sharp tines help in removing thatch, this can damage roots and stolon of the emerging grasses. Further, raking in spring can also encourage weeds to emerge after their seed have been exposed to optimum sunlight and warmth. To avoid such problems on your lawn, do the raking in autumn.
You may use a mulching lawnmower that has a bag to shred and pick the leaves then place them in a compost pile where they will easily decompose or offer them to anyone interested. For a thin layer of leaves, a mower will help in spreading them throughout the lawn to decompose and provide more nutrients to the grass.
A leaf blower is also effective for collecting leaves especially in small lawns. The leaves are blown into a pile before you collected and take them to a compost pit. When using a leaf blower, be sure to use the correct settings or else it will be difficult to control the leaves.
A hand-held leaf vacuum or a vacuum attachment to your mower can also be used to suck leaves and other debris into a bag. All you need to do is push the machine gently over the leaves, and the suction takes care of the rest. Avoid moving the vacuum machine over large items such as rocks, twigs which can jam it.
How to Rake Leaves
Raking is an enjoyable task when you plan adequately. Most people consider it as a workout. To protect your grass and make the raking process easier, below is how to do it correctly.
- Understand when to rake leaves up in your lawn. Towards the end of fall most leaves are off the trees and thus the best time to rake. This should be done right before the first frost. Drier leaves are easier to rake than when wet. The day has to be windless for easier controlling of leaves.
- Choose a good rake. Plastic or metal rake are often used for raking. However, it can become tedious and tough if you don’t choose a comfortable rake. Make it enjoyable by using a sturdy leaf rake with ergonomic foam cushioned handle.
- Wear working gloves and start the raking process as you strike small reaching movements while the rake is correctly positioned at the leaves. Create small piles of leaves if working in large yard.
- Bag the leaves and use them as a mulch in garden or add to a compost pile where they can decompose. You may also take them to municipal picking point. Do not throw the leaves in the streets or near storm drains.
What is the mower height for mulching leaves
Usually the best mower height for mulching leaves range from 2 to 4 inches depending on the height of your lawn grass. However, the highest setting of your mower is recommended when mulching leaves. If you select the lowers height, the leaves will be pushed by the front side of the lawn mower.
Raking leaves up in lawns not only makes your backyard to look neat but also enhances growth and health of your grass. However, timing is critical to avoid harming the roots and grass stolon. Remember to use a comfortable rake or other effortless methods such as leaf mowing, vacuuming or blowing.