Why You Should (And Shouldn’t) Rake Your Leaves This Fall
Fall is upon us. Which means so are all those leaves! Leaves can be a hassle, especially when it comes to figuring out what to do with them. For years, homeowners have been stuck with the question–to rake or not to rake? While there are pros and cons to both raking and not raking your leaves, we’re here to clear up the confusion.
Here’s everything you need to know about raking (or not raking) your leaves this season.
Why Raking Is Good
Though important, leaf raking isn’t just about keeping your yard looking tidy. There are plenty of reasons why raking up leaves off of your yard is good for your lawn. Below are some reasons to rake your leaves this season.
Grass needs an adequate amount of air to be able to survive. Raking leaves off of your yard allows for healthy aeration to your lawn.
Fall is for the leaves and winter is for snow! When leaves fall onto your yard and keep piling up, the snow that comes in the winter will mat those leaves down, preventing your lawn from getting that breathing room that it needs.
If there’s anything we know well, it’s pests. To keep pests out of your yard and home, it’s best not to encourage them in the first place. When it starts getting colder those layers and layers of leaves in your yard look like the perfect home to a pest. Raking your leaves can help keep pests away.
The Great Barrier
In addition to blocking out the proper air supply, too many leaves can create a barrier that blocks plenty of other important things too. Lawns need the nutrients and water that come with the natural ebb and flow of the weather during the winter. Believe it or not, proper irrigation is necessary for a healthy lawn even in the winter!
Why Not Raking Is Also Good
The reasons that we have for raking our leaves in the fall all make sense. But believe it or not, there are also some benefits to letting your leaves stay on your lawn. A better solution to raking and bagging all season long is running a lawn mower over your leaves instead.
Running a lawn mower over your leaves can be considered organic mulching. It doesn’t take any special equipment to mulch – just mow the same way you would without leaves on it. The mower takes the leaves, slices them into tiny pieces and shoots them back out onto your lawn, leaving a layer of organic mulch that can benefit your lawn.
Leaves are organic matter that can actually benefit your lawn in a few ways. For one, a light layer of leaves left on your lawn during the winter can actually suppress weeds in the spring. Second, all of the nutrients that leaves give your grass will promote healthier growth for your lawn.
If you really want to get fancy with it, you can purchase a mulching attachment for your mower which will chop your leaves up even more finely, making them almost unrecognizable as leaves. Either way, mowing your leaves to create a nutrient layer for your yard is easier than raking and can be done less often – so give it a shot this season!
Other Alternatives To Raking
No matter what, leaves can be a hassle. If you still don’t think you can handle seeing leaves all over your yard, fear not – we have some alternatives for you to try.
If leaves are really becoming an issue in your yard, consider removing some of your trees. The less trees you have, the less leaves you’ll have to rake. It’s as simple as that!
Replace Trees With Evergreen
There’s not doubt about it – leaves can be a hassle. But if you’re not willing to give up your trees and all the benefits that come with them, consider replacing them with trees that don’t drop so many leaves! Evergreen trees retain their foliage all year long, reducing the amount of leaves dropping into your yard.
Use a Leaf Blower
Chopping down or replacing your trees can be expensive. Instead, use a leaf blower to corral your leaves into a pile in your yard. Once they’re gathered, you can do a few different things. For one, you can put your piles into garbage bags and dispose of them in trash. Another option is to simply leave them in the pile. This pile will create a “leaf mold” which improves the quality and structure of the soil in your yard.
‘Hire the Neighborhood’
Though raking is simple, it’s definitely a pain. Instead of raking your yard yourself, hire someone in your neighborhood to do it! Kids especially love making some extra money anyway they can. $10 to Billy down the street to rake your leaves is a small price to pay for some hassle-free yard maintenance.
All of that being said, we’re still left with the question – to rake or not to rake? And the answer to that question is: both.
Like anything else – leaves are good for our lawns in moderation. Too many leaves can create some issues for your lawn in terms of aeration and the proper nutrients, however leaving some leaves on your lawn can actually benefit your yard. So whether you’re a raker, not a raker or someone who could care less, there are benefits to whatever you decide to do with your leaves this fall.
To learn more about maintaining the perfect lawn care this season and all other seasons too, download our free lawn care workbook. In this guide we provide professional tips and tricks for keeping your lawn beautiful all year long. Or better yet, trust the Killingsworth team to improve your lawn and provide the care it needs all throughout the year. Click the button below to schedule your service!