Having trees and shrubs on your front lawn or backyard is great for many reasons. You get shades from the trees, and if they are fruit-bearing, you get fresh fruits in season. But they can be annoying and tedious to care for. Imagine all the dead leaves scattered all over the yard, often even layered, fully covering areas of the grass. This leads many to ask whether it’s fine to leave those dead leaves on the yard, and for how long. After all, they are going to decompose, right?
Well, dead leaves lying over the turf is not all that bad. However, it would be best to still rake them before it rains. Once the dead leaves get wet, they are much more likely to smother your grass, depriving it of much-needed oxygen and even sunlight. This could result in your grass dying. Also, you don’t want your lawn to look untidy with all those leaves lying around.
Besides, if you don’t have the energy to clean up those dead leaves or don’t have the time, you can always call on your reliable landscaping contractor. And in this article, we will explain the benefits of cleaning up dead leaves on your lawn and give you tips on when to do so.
The Benefits of Raking Dead Leaves
If your lawn has cool-season grasses, you need to remove all the dead leaves lying on top of them. Piled-up leaves can get in the way of nourishment for your grass as the thick layer can block the sun. In this case, raking off dead leaves will help your grass grow healthy and unhindered.
Raking is not only a way to ensure your grass stays healthy. Doing it also helps in eliminating lawn thatch – the dead grass tissue on the soil. Some leaves may also harbor diseases that can affect plants and trees. By raking them on time, you eliminate the possibility of any disease spreading through tp your garden.
When is the Perfect Time to Rake Dead Leaves?
Removing dead leaves on your lawn should be a priority during autumn. The perfect time is late autumn to early winter when the leaves are still dry. However, in Florida we often see a great deal of leaves fall in the spring. Problems start with wet leaves as they blanket over the grass. It’s also easier to rake dry leaves. Hence, keep an eye on the weather forecast and be sure to rake the dead leaves before the rains come.
Aside from damaging the grass, wet dead leaves are also much more difficult to rake. They tend to absorb the moisture making them significantly heavier than they are when dry.
What To Do with All the Raked Leaves?
Now that you’ve done raking, what do you do with all those dead leaves? Don’t just throw them away. You can use these leaves in two ways: composting and mulching. If you must dispose of them, be sure to utilize a service that will recycle the leaves so they don’t just end up taking space in a landfill.
Composting Dead Leaves
One way to dispose of the raked leaves is to make compost out of them. Try to chop up the larger leaves using the rake or a shovel and add them to your compost pile. The leaves will decompose faster, and you can use them in your garden.
As we all know, compost makes an excellent fertilizer for landscape plants and vegetable gardens. So, if you have a sizeable lawn that sees a pile of leaves regularly, it’s best to buy some bins that you can use for composting. You can add eggshells, discarded coffee grounds, and kitchen scraps to the raked leaves to make good compost. Just make sure not to add meat or fish scraps as these can attract pests once they start smelling bad.
Mulching Dead Leaves
If composting is not something you’re interested in, you can also create mulch using the dry leaves you’ve raked from your lawn. The dry leaves will need to be chopped up so they’d break down without creating mold or matting. The best way is to mow over the leaves and collect them in bags or containers for mulching. This dry mulch is perfect for insulating around plants and adding nutrients to your garden soil.
So, are fallen leaves bad for your grass? Well, that depends. It could be harmful if you leave all the leaves to pile up and don’t let the grass breathe. Leaves are natural materials, and they will biodegrade. This can add extra nutrients to the soil in your gardens and lawns.
Let Lawns & Palms, Inc. help you with your dead leaves problem. You can count on our team when it comes to lawn and landscape care. If you live in Largo and Seminole in Florida, you can always entrust such work with Lawns & Palms, Inc. We are landscape maintenance professionals offering premium lawn care solutions.