Managing Fall Leaves

What’s there not to love about the fall? The colors are beautiful, the air is crisp, football games are plentiful and there’s a pumpkin spice version of just about anything you can think of.

With the summer months behind us, the mowing that used to take up so much time on the weekends is on hold until the spring.

But by late October and into November, your lawn will need a little TLC again. The leaves that were so beautiful on the trees when they started changing colors aren’t as beautiful accumulating in your yard. And unfortunately, leaving them there isn’t healthy for your lawn either.

When the leaves pile up, they come between your lawn and the nutrients, sunlight, moisture, and airflow that it needs to stay healthy. Additionally leaves on a lawn that stays wet invite disease and fungus.

While jumping into freshly raked piles of leaves was fun as a kid, as a homeowner, raking can feel like a never-ending, time-consuming chore. Since leaves fall in stages, it may require you clear them weekly until the large majority of them have fallen for the season.

One of the easiest ways you can manage leaves if you don’t want to rake or blow and then bag them is to mulch them with your mower. If you don’t have a mulching mower, your regular mower will suffice but may take a few passes to get the leaves to the desired size.

To do this successfully, raise the blade to its highest level and remove the bag from your mower. Next, proceed to go over your lawn like you regularly do until the pieces of leaves are the size of a dime or smaller. In addition to being a much easier way to deal with leaves, mulching them adds valuable nutrients to the lawn as they decompose resulting in a turf that’s better able to withstand winter conditions and greens up nicely in the spring.

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