The Importance of Leaf Removal
Have you ever wondered why there is no grass on the ground in the forest? There seems to be just a bunch of dead and decaying leaves that creates a non-sustainable environment for grass. The same can happen to your lawn without regular leaf removal overtime. Below are the important reasons for removing leaves off your lawn.
Leaves Block Light
One of the main needs of grass to grow favorably is light. When leaves are left on the grass for too long, it blocks out the sun and your grass will start to stress. Fall is the best time of the year for the grass to recover from the summer. So, it is always best to keep the leaf litter at a minimum during this period so the turf is getting maximum light and can really get thick before the winter period. This time of the year is also when many lawns are getting their best light since the tree shade is at a minimum once all the leaves drop.
Leaf Litter Holds Moisture
Leaf litter also holds moisture and slows evaporation. If the accumulated leaves are allowed to sit for too long, this excess moisture will cause decay and in conjunction with the lack of sunlight you will see marked decline in your turf quality.
Leaves Cause Bare Spots
Leaf litter left for too long decreases vigor and leads to bare spots. Once Spring rolls around, the turf will be slow to respond and weeds will certainly take advantage of the bare spots and thin turf that are left behind.
It is our recommendation that your leaves are removed on a weekly basis.
Mulching Leaves Back Into The Lawn
Mulching the leaves back into the lawn can be beneficial if done properly. Studies have shown that doing so can return some nutrients and organic matter back into the lawn and have long term positive effects. Keep in mind when mulching,
- The turf must be mowed high, 3.5 to 4 inches.
- The leaves should also be dry, not wet and matted down.
- Must be done on a weekly basis, if done too infrequently the thickness of the leaf litter will be too large for the mulching effort to be effective. You’ll just create a layer of smaller leaves.
- Mulching early in the fall, while the soil temperature is still warm, will lead to rapid decomposition of the litter. Waiting until the end of fall will be counterproductive as the soil temps will have cooled and decomposition will be slower.
Using a leaf blower is fine but it may take a little more effort. If you do use a rake during aeration and seeding, please be mindful that it may tear young grass. Please clean up your leaves regularly so that we can help you keep your lawn beautiful.