We’re getting to that point in the season where some trees are already loosing their leaves while others are yet to change colors. Perhaps one of the most dreaded lawn care tasks of fall is raking the leaves. Raking may seem like a tedious, menial task but it does have huge benefits to the health of your lawn.
Leaves left on the ground do have some benefit to the health of the soil. As the leaves decompose they deposit beneficial nutrients into the ground. However, when you have a large tree on your property dropping leaves that cover an extensive portion of the grass, you are in danger of suffocating your lawn from sunlight. Heavy leaf cover on the ground, compacted by winter snow, will inhibit the growth of the lawn in the spring. It’s important to remove these leaves as soon as possible to protect growth and health in the long run.
The decomposing material is beneficial, so it’s not necessary to worry about getting every last leaf off the lawn. Just be sure that the lawn can “breathe” and will receive plenty of necessary sunlight.
How to Rake Fall Leaves
There are various methods to raking fall leaves. While you may use the traditional method of hand raking, you may also consider using a leaf blower to save time and energy. Ultimately, choose the method that works best for you:
The Mulching Method
If you don’t have very many trees and the ground cover is not extensive, you may be able to simply mow over the leaves and mulch them into small pieces. This disperses the leaves over a wider area and gives the soil beneficial nutrients as they decompose. Be careful to only do this if you do not have very many leaves. Mulching a large amount of leaves and keeping them on the grass can still suffocate your lawn.
The Tarp Method
By clearing an area large enough to lay out a tarp, you can rake leaves onto the tarp and drag them where ever you need them for disposal. Many cities offer free curbside leaf pick up and this is a good way to get those leaves to the curb. Click for the Cedar Rapids curbside leaf cleanup schedule or contact your city hall to find out the schedule in your town.
The Mulch & Bag Method
Many lawn mowers have a bagging attachment that allows you to mow over and collect the leaves. You can mulch them into small pieces that collect in the mower’s bagging attachment and then either dump them on the curb for city pick up or pour into lawn bags. This method leaves behind some of the mulched leaves that will provide nutrients to the lawn.
The Professional Method
For people who just don’t have the time or energy to tackle a large raking project, hiring professional help may be the best option for you. At Lawn-Tek, we offer extensive Fall Cleanup services with top notch quality. We also offer mowing packages that include Fall & Spring Cleanup, in addition to weekly stick and debris cleanup.