Stop Raking Leaves for Better Lawn Care
- Increased soil matter
- Greater percentage of carbon and nitrogen
- Lawns green up faster in the Spring
- Leaf mulching creates a softer, cushioned surface during the summer that is more resistant to being walked on and other physical activity that may occur in the area.
So how do you mulch those leaves? In most cases it simply means mowing your lawn without using a bag. The lawn mower will chop up the leaves as it cuts the grass. While you can buy or rent a lawn mulching mower, studies have shown that there is little difference from regular mowing without a bag.
It is better though to mow more frequently. Instead of letting the leaves pile up in heavy layers mow every couple of days to keep them under control. Cutting and chopping leaves on your lawn as they fall will keep the leaves from matting and smothering the grass.
You can rake leaves from other areas such as sidewalks, flower gardens and other areas and spread these dead leaves on your lawn as well. Perhaps scattering them in grass areas where there fewer leaves.
If the leaves are very thick it is a good idea to mow in one direction and then mow again in a different way. This gives an extra cut of the leaves so the breakdown will be faster.
There will be some leaf residue visible after your mowing but within a few weeks this will sift and settle into the turf. In the spring the new lawn growth will burst through and result in a thick and softly padded green lawn.
Michael R. Sayles
City of Sherrill
377 Sherrill Road
Sherrill, New York 13461