Put Down Your Rake – Your Lawn Mower is Best
If you have spent your life raking up leaves each fall and then bagging them to be hauled away, it’s time to brace yourself. The lawn care experts contend that those leaves will actually benefit the health of your lawn, shrubs and flower beds.
Stop breaking your back or listening to the kids complain about yard work! Put down your rake and start up your lawnmower, because shredding those leaves up is what is recommended.
If you are selling your home, you especially want to keep up the appearance of a well maintained yard. Now you can do this with your lawn mower rather than a rake, even if it takes a few extra passes over the leaves to properly shred them up. It sure beats bagging all those leaves!
This means you don’t want to leave a thick layer of leaves on your lawn – that is not healthy because it will smother the grass, block necessary light and air, and cause mold when it gets and stays wet. Chopping up leaves into a mulch, and spreading it around, is actually a good way to support a healthy lawn and garden.
Here is what your lawn and landscaping needs:
- Leaves are full of valuable nutrients that can be used in your yard, garden or compost pile.
- A lawn mower typically can really shred up leaves nicely. This creates a food for the grass and its roots. Any lawn mower will do, and some actually have mulching blades for this specific reason.
- Ideally, the leaves should be shredded to about a half-inch in diameter (more or less the size of a dime).
- As mentioned, depending on the volume of leaves that have fallen on your lawn, it might take more than one pass to get the shreds to the desired size.
- If you have a large volume of leaves, you can use the mulch for your garden and flower beds, too. Use a mulching mower that has a collection bag allows you to brake-down the leaves, collect the bulk of them, and empty the bag into a compost pile to use in your garden or flowerbeds. What the collection bag failed to pick up will feed the lawn.
As the leaves decompose, they will slowly break down to enhance the soil with much needed nutrients, which feed the microbes and worms present in any healthy lawn. This is all very healthy! And the nitrogen boost from the compost will mean you might not need to fertilize the lawn in the spring.
Cleaning up those leaves has never been faster, easier or healthier for your landscaping. All you need is a good mower and about a fraction of the time you spent raking.
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