One of the least favorite fall landscaping chores is raking leaves.  As pretty as all the fall colors look on your lawn, letting them accumulate can have a negative impact on the health of your lawn.   A healthy lawn requires a few key elements to thrive and a heavy mat of leaves prevents a lawn from tapping into those resources.

Key Elements for a Healthy Lawn

A lawn requires sunlight, water, air and nutrients.  Introduce a heavy blanket of leaves that stay on the lawn all fall season, you’ll start noticing your lawn will become weaker and more susceptible to lawn and fungus diseases and pest infestations. 

Problems of Not Raking

Leaves hinder sunlight and cause bare spots.   Grass needs sunlight to grow.  When leaves stay on the lawn too long, they block out the sun and your grass goes into stress mode.  Keeping leaves to a minimum allows the grass to get the maximum amount of light and can actually thicken up before winter.  Think about it….more sunlight is hitting your lawn because of shade trees are shedding their leaves.

Leaves retain moisture.  A pile of leaves will hold moisture and slows up evaporation.  All the excess moisture creates a dark, moist environment where fungus, disease and pests thrive.    Lawn diseases happen more with excess moisture.

New seedlings struggle to grow.  If you have done any fall seeding, or you have recently  aerated and seeded, the new seedlings will struggle to survive.  Give them the best chance to grow by giving them the sunlight and air they need.

Your lawn looks unkempt.  Although it has nothing to do with the health of the grass, aesthetically your lawn will look unattractive and detract from the neighborhood curb appeal.

Suggestions on What to Do with Leaves

Providing there is not a heavy coverage, mulching leaves with a mower can return nutrients and organic matter to the yard, and have long-term, positive effect.   Leaves contain valuable nitrogen which is important to the growth of your lawn.  Use a mower with a mulching blade and it’s best to mulch slightly damp, but not wet, leaves.  You can do several passes over the leaves so that they are reduced to l/4 inch pieces.  This way they can be absorbed into the soil easier.  It might be necessary to mulch several times over the season.  Definitely don’t wait until all the leaves are down.

Do you hate raking leaves? Whitehouse Landscaping can help with the drudgery of this chore.  We offer a full range of landscaping maintenance services ensuring that your home looks its best in every season.  Give us a call at 484-300-4290 or contact us for an estimate.  We’re here to help!