It’s that time again! Winter is rapidly approaching and your lawn is probably covered in leaves. Everyone dreads having to pick up leaves and will most likely procrastinate the process due to the large amount of work involved. There is a better way to take care of all those leaves as well as reduce the amount of time and effort required, mulch them!
The Benefits of Mulching Fallen Leaves
Mulching leaves with a lawn mower breaks down the leaves into smaller pieces that will decompose faster and that add nutrients back into your lawn. Using a lawn mower saves you the hassle and strain of raking leaves into piles, bending over to pick them up and carrying all the bags. Another benefit is that mulching helps the environment by keeping large bags of leaves from filling up landfills and other garbage disposal areas.
A study conducted by Michigan State University (Leaf Mulch Forum – Research and Real-World Techniques) shows no negative change to plots of land that had leaves mulched instead of being removed, as well as no change in the health of the turfgrass or drastic effect on the soil pH after six years of mulching leaves. It is popularly thought that oak leaves change the pH of the soil, the study confirmed this untrue as well. Also, in the case of maple leaves, mulched leaves actually helped to suppress weed growth the following season!
The Right Way to Mulch Fallen Leaves
Make sure to spread leaves out over the lawn evenly after mulching. You should still see the blades of your grass standing upright above the layer of mulched leaves. If you have an excess of leaves in the lawn bagging some of them is a good idea. If you pay a lawn care service to maintain your lawn, mulching the leaves is generally less expensive because it takes less time to clean and there is a reduced need for materials (like leaf bags) to assist in the cleanup.
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