If your lawn is buried beneath a pile of leaves, and the prospect of dealing with them seems a bit overwhelming and possibly even futile, since all of the leaves haven’t even fallen yet and surely more will be coming after spending hours raking, you may be wondering, “why again, is it really necessary to rake leaves off the lawn?”
Reason #1: Rake for the sake of lawn health
- Lawns need to breath.
- Leaving a thick layer of unshredded leaves on your lawn all winter can smother the lawn.
- A thick layer of unshredded leaves can create a barrier that blocks water, nutrients, and a healthy air flow from getting down to your grasses root system.
- A layer of matted down leaves can keep new grass blades from emerging in the Spring.
- Leaving a thick layer of leaves on your lawn all winter can invite pests and diseases.
- Cool season grasses revitalize themselves in the fall. If they don’t get enough sun, nutrients, water and favourable temperatures, they can’t strengthen their root systems. A thick layer of leaves can prevent sun from reaching the grass, the grass doesn’t receive sunlight and they can’t revitalize themselves.
- Turf damage from critters (voles, mice) can be more extensive in the spring with a thick layer of leaves on your lawn.
Reason #2: Rake because your lawn looks neater
A raked lawn looks neater and contributes to curb appeal.
Would you rather drive up your driveway to your house, park, and see a neat lawn or one covered in wet soggy (stinky) leaves after our first snow fall and melt?
Reason #3 Bonding time for families
Aside from lawn health and aesthetics, this routine task is a great family activity!
- Builds confidence
- Children enjoy helping
- It teaches siblings to work together
- Provides an intrinsic reward
Check out this blog for “10 Reasons to Rake Leaves as a Family”.
Reason #4 Family Fun & Photo Ops
Creating a big pile of leaves will create a perfect spot for your kids and pets to play in and some great photo ops for you to capture and share with your family and loved ones!
Options to Consider Versus Raking
Please note and rest assured knowing that it is not necessary to have your lawn 100% completely free of leaves come winter. 10-20% leaf coverage on your lawn might be ok.
Here are 3 options to take care of those leaves to ensure that leaves aren’t covering a significant portion of your lawn:
- Use a rake to collect leaves or a leaf blower and use for compost
- Use the bagging attachment on the lawn mower and compost the leaf and grass mixture
- Mulch the leaves using your lawn mower. This will chop the leaves into small pieces which will fall into your lawn; the nutrients and organic matter will benefit the lawn and soil, the bits of leaves will cover up and help protect the root system, and the leaves will help preserve moisture in the soil.
Still not too keen on collecting your leaves after reading all of the reasons to do so and learning about alternative options? Well, we can help and we actually enjoy this seasonal task. We offer a Fall Clean Up and can take care of those leaves for you. Our Fall Clean Up includes:
- blowing out fence line, building perimeter, shrub beds and tree wells
- power vacuuming of lawn
- raking fallen leaves and debris
- removal of debris from property
Learn more about our Fall Clean Up here.
To answer, “why again, is it really necessary to rake leaves off the lawn?” We have to say “Yes, it really is necessary, but there are options.”
Don’t have time to take care of your property or would like more information? Please contact us and we will be happy to help!
The Spruce, “Why Is It Necessary to Rake Leaves off the Lawn?”
USA Today, “Raking leaves again this fall? Stop right now.”
University of Minnesota, Turfgrass Science, “Good Question: Do you really need to rake all those leaves?”
Tracy Lamperti, Individual & Family Counselling, “10 Reasons to Rake Leaves as a Family”