No matter where you live, nearly every homeowner dreads the task of fall cleanup. While the season is beautiful, the leaves are most times wet, it is usually cold and rainy, and overall, it is just a ton of work to prepare our yards for winter. Though it is an annoyance, it is extremely important to rid your lawn of leaves. When those leaves really start to pile up and gather it is so important to remove them.
First, wet leaves are heavy and tend to smother grass. When spring comes around, grass simply cannot grow as well if it has left over leaf cover.
Second, leaves DO end up breaking down over time, however, the mold and fungus that they begin growing as a result of being dense and wet will commonly spread to your grass, infecting it with mold and fungus.
Finally, leaf coverage on the grass encourages mice, moles, and voles to make their home in your lawn, leading to a destroyed landscape.
Since a fall clean up is a must, here are some tips to make it a little easier:
- The most effective way to remove leaves is with a leaf blower or leaf vacuum. We recommend a gas-powered blower, so you won’t be restricted by a cord and have a good amount of power.
- Leaves left on the lawn is not a good idea, however, a thin layer of leaves left in your gardening beds can act as mulch and fertilize the soil for the upcoming year. It helps protect your bulbs and soil from the harsh winter weather. Make sure the layer is not too thick or it can end up smothering plants and welcoming pests.
- Don’t forget about the leaves gathering in your gutters, on your roof, or around your foundation. Leaves left in gutters can create blockages leading to ice dams, which can cause major issues with your roof or gutters. Piled leaves around your foundation can lead to mold growth as well, so be sure to remove leaves there too.
- Using a tarp to gather leaf piles and transport them to where you will be dumping is very helpful. Lay the tarp out on your lawn and blow or rake the leaves on. Drag the tarp to where you will be dumping.
- After leaf cleanup is done, we recommend applying a fall fertilizer to encourage root growth when spring comes.
- Give the lawn one final mow before you expect the colder temperatures. Set the mower height to a lower level. This helps soil dry out faster and lawns grow lusher in the spring.