Minnesota offers beautiful fall colors every year but it also means- leaves, leaves everywhere! They can be a hassle, but these tips will help you deal with them this fall.
No one enjoys the back-breaking work of raking. Here is how you can get the job over quickly:
- Let gravity help you out by raking leaves downhill if possible.
- Skip raking and move straight to mowing. Chopped leaves can allow for vital nutrients to return to the soil.
- Use a leaf blower to create piles to pick up and bag.
Homeowners want to avoid more than 10-20% of their grass to be covered in leaves when the snow falls. Excessive leaf matter going into winter may smother the grass and inhibit growth, as well as promote mold diseases, and encourage turf damage from critters like voles and mice.
Is it beneficial for your lawn to spend time raking and bagging leaves, or should you plan on mowing over everything and mulching the rest? Or simply leave them be?
Raking. Improve your arm strength by raking (or using a leaf blower) to gather a pile, then bag for disposal, or deliver to a compost site. Depending on the size of your lawn and number of trees on site, this may take an hour or a full day. In order to rake efficiently, lawns should be dry and trimmed. Additional bag fees or compost facility charges may deter people from going this route, but the excitement of jumping in a large leaf pile has its benefits too.
Mowing and mulching. Chopping grass and leaves into small pieces (also known as mulching) so they incorporate into your lawn canopy via a lawnmower benefits the soil in a number of ways. Nutrients and organic matter may add nitrogen to the lawn and assist in root growth. Some leaf types have even been shown to reduce weed germination over time. Mulching may require more frequent mowing in the fall, but specialized attachments and mulching mowers can also be purchased to make this job easier.
Leaving it be. If you have no trees and the wind blows away more than 10% of your lawn coverage, you may be off the hook for raking and mowing. Use your extra time wisely before the Minnesota winter hits!