The leaves are turning and, more importantly for the purposes of this post, falling. That means it’s time for the seasonal chore of leaf removal. Fortunately, the experts here at Harris Landscape Construction are sharing best practices for cleaning up autumn leaves to make things a little easier this autumn.
Best Practices for Cleaning Up Leaves
- Don’t skip it. Raking leaves is a chore, and you might assume that the leaves will break down and deliver nutrients to your dormant lawn. That’s partially true, but there’s another fact to consider. Fallen leaves on bluegrass and fescue grass varieties specifically can be problematic come spring. The thick mat of leaves keeps sunshine from reaching your lawn and creates ample opportunity for mold, bacteria and pests. But you don’t have to remove those leaves completely, which brings us to tip two:
- Don’t rake leaves. Shred them. Make sure your lawn benefits from the nutrients in those leaves as they break down by turning them into mulch. If your lawn mower doesn’t have a mulching feature, set the blades to the highest setting, then mow over the leaves. It will create shredded foliage that breaks down slowly over the winter without hampering sunlight access.
- Don’t sacrifice your back and hands. If you find yourself raking up sections that you can’t reach with the mower, make sure you have the right tools. Leaf rakes are different from garden rakes. They have flexible, long, lightweight tines and ergonomic handles. Make sure your rake is long enough so you don’t have to hunch over. And don’t forget the gloves! If you prefer to work with a blower, make sure you have a tarp to blow them onto for easy disposal or better yet, composting.
- Don’t burn leaves. It may seem like the easiest way to get rid of them, but setting leaves on fire is dangerous and bad for the environment.
- Don’t forget to include the kids. Hopping into a leaf pile is pretty fun!