Benefits of Mulching Fall Leaves
\\We’ve already shared factors to consider when deciding when to rake your fall leaves. A crucial part of that is deciding if you should even rake leaves at all.
In recent years, some studies (including several conducted by Michigan State University) have suggested that it might be better for both your lawn (and your back!) to put down the rake and opt for mulching your fall leaves instead. If you’ve been considering that route, here are some of the reasons why mulching your leaves might be right for you.
The biggest reason people opt to mulch their carpet of fall foliage is the nutritional benefits to their grass. Micro-organisms break down the leaves over time, leaving the nutrients available for the grass roots to consume. This ultimately serves as a slow, steady source of food for the grass through the winter and into spring as it prepares to grow again. Leaving leaf mulch on your lawn will also suppress weed growth, essentially leaving you with more of the kind of growth you want and less of the kind you don’t.
On a much broader scale, mulching your leaves might be good not just for your lawn habitat, but also for the environment as a whole. Many thousands of bags of leaf waste, encased in non-biodegradable trash bags, are dumped in landfills every single year. Leaving the leaves in mulch form on your own property might be one small way of easing the landfill strain.
Lighten the Load
Conventional wisdom is right in its assertion that a dense carpet of wet, heavy leaves will smother your grass. But raking isn’t the only way to lighten that load. Mulching leaves can take the bulk down to just 10% of the volume.
Of course, if your leaf build up gets too thick, you’ll still need to move some off; clumps of mulched leaves will still smother the grass if they get too thick. But if you have excessed mulched leaf debris, you can move it to fertilize garden beds. Your goal is dime-sized pieces of leaf with about half an inch of grass still visible.
The mulching process is significantly faster than its raking or leaf blowing counterparts. Most lawnmowers now can be equipped with mulching blades, but even some standard mowers can get the job done with more effort and multiple passes. The best combination is a high-lift mulching blade with a bag attached (if you intend to redistribute the mulched leaves).
If you do have more leaves than you can reasonably leave on your lawn, this is the perfect opportunity to start a compost pile. Composting involves collecting green and organic matter, letting it decompose naturally to become fertilizer. All of your newly mulched fall leaves are a great addition or starter for that. It can take several months for that decomposition process to really get moving, but the good news is, you have all fall and winter!
If you’re stumped on how to tackle the leaf removal problem without doing more harm than good, we can help! Contact North Texas Lawns for your fall leaf removal needs.
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