One of my favorite seasons is autumn. Mild temperatures and leaves changing color allow for beautiful hikes and runs along trails. The falling leaves are beautiful but the piles left on my lawn are a major chore. Piles of leaves will damage your grass, flower beds and shrubs. If leaves aren’t removed grass becomes compacted, starved for air and sun and excess phosphorous creates an imbalance in soil. There is no simple way to remove all leaves from your lawn but consider some options before you take on your own lawn.
Move leaves away from sensitive spots
Raking leaves away from the most sensitive areas of your lawn is essential. Mulch beds with expensive plants and flowers and grass nearest walkways, driveways and sidewalks are generally the weakest points in your lawn. Try to rake leaves toward a healthy area of your lawn. Some people use a tarp or focus leaves toward a deck, patio or driveway surface. A power blower allows you to move larger piles to a central spot. I move all my leaves toward the garden in my backyard.
Mow your leaves
Once excess leaves are piled, I set my cutting deck to the highest setting and mow my lawn. The few remaining leaves are finely mulched and grass is lifted up. Utilizing your mower or string trimmer to reduce piles of leaves makes bagging far easier. For larger yards where bagging debris isn’t an option, freshly sharpened or new mower blades make this task easier. A few passes across piles of leaves creates a fine mulch perfect for feeding you compost.
Stay ahead of the rain
I treat autumn lawn care similar to spring. In the spring, I mow at least twice a week to prevent quickly growing grass from clumping. I also pay close attention to the forecast so I mow during dry conditions to prevent matting and clogging in my cutting deck. In the fall, wet leaves are difficult to rake, move with a power blower and nearly impossible to mow. So I may clear my lawn two or three times a week staying ahead of forecasted rain.
Short on time?
If your schedule simply doesn’t allow for hours of lawn care each week, consider upgrading from a rake or small handheld blower to more powerful equipment. Align your need to the proper tool. Power blowers come in handheld and backpack varieties (discover all of the differences).