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The Great Leaf Controversy
To rake or not to rake? That is the question! Every year about this time, you stop cutting the grass and realize just how many trees you have in your yard when the leaves start to accumulate on your lawn. You may even be lucky enough to have leaves from your neighbors’ trees find their way into your yard!
You have always been told that the leaves must be removed from your lawn when they fall and have heard dire warnings about what could happen to the grass you spent all summer watering if you don’t act now! Should you spend hours out there with all sorts of loud lawn tools blowing them into piles so they can be gathered into those special tall brown paper bags that are sold at the local home improvement centers? Do you live in an area where, if you can get them all moved to the ditch in the front yard a large Hoover-style vacuum truck will come along and suck them up for you? Should you get on your lawn mower, cue up your favorite tunes and chop them up? Or, should you just ignore them and hope for some swift winds to move them on to the next yard? Decisions, decisions…
There are a few reasons, other than wanting your yard to look neat and tidy, to remove the leaves after they fall. Depending on the type of grass you have, it may use this time of year to fortify its root systems for better performance next summer. There are a variety of “cool season” grasses like tall fescue, rye grass or Kentucky bluegrass and they will thrive at this time of year with proper sunlight and rainfall. If the covering of leaves is too thick, the sunlight and rainfall will not penetrate the ground properly disrupting the rebuilding cycle. After the leaves settle, get wet and matted down, there can also be issues with airflow which also aides in proper growth of the grass. Warm season grasses like Bermuda and Zoysia will also benefit from the process of cleaning up the leaves in the fall.
If raking leaves is not what you want to do every Saturday for the next month, you can certainly take a less labor-intensive stance on leaf clean-up and use a lawnmower. You can purchase special serrated blades that will help the mulching process by chopping them up into tiny pieces with one pass. If you choose not to go through the hassle of changing the blade, you can use your regular blade and make a few extra passes to be sure the leaves have been sufficiently chopped into smaller pieces that will degrade quickly over winter providing a natural fertilizer for your lawn.
Whatever method you choose, you don’t need to clean up every last leaf that falls on your lawn! If you have trees with smaller or thinner leaves, many of those dry easily and break apart on their own, especially in high traffic zones. However, chopping up or removing the thicker large leaves like oak and maple will help your lawn thrive in the spring!
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Jarod Tanksley 615.403.8265
www.BrentwoodandBeyond.com (for more Real Estate Tips)
Brentview Realty 615.373.2814