Fall certainly lives up to its name. We admire the striking red and gold leaves, but soon enough they’ll descend onto our lawns. How does that affect the grass below? Well, it depends. Here are some reasons to take care of those leaves that you may have never considered:
- Dead leaves aren’t necessarily bad for lawns. In fact, they are made of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. This combination can act as a fertilizer if the leaves are mulched down to tiny pieces about a half-inch in diameter. Your mower may already have mulching capabilities; otherwise you can purchase a serrated blade to attach to your mower that will work just as well.
- Leaves that aren’t mulched or raked may block the sunlight from reaching the grass. When this happens, the grass cannot generate the carbohydrates necessary to process nutrients. This is especially a concern in Minnesota, where frost can prevent leaves from completely decomposing.
- When a thick layer of leaves is covered by snow, your lawn may develop snow mold – a fungal disease that wreaks havoc on grass. This can turn large patches of your lawn either pink or gray. Raking or mulching helps to prevent this devastating disease.
- Raking helps to prevent matting of your lawn during the winter months. The weight of leaves and snow is sometimes too much for grass to handle. This can kill large patches of your lawn. Don’t get stuck with ugly brown spots!
- Raking is a great way to get some exercise! According to Harvard Health, a person who weighs 155 pounds will burn 149 calories (on average) while raking for 30 minutes. Get your body moving!
Clearing leaves off the lawn is something we all have to do. It keeps your grass and your body healthy! Whether you decide to mulch or rake, remember that you are saving yourself a headache when the snow melts.