Leaves on grass- need to rake?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jenn, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    Would folks weigh in on whether I jeopardize my bits of grass (pretty in spots and an important part of the erosion control in several areas) by not gathering up the leaves that are scattered fairly thinly over it? My thickest wooded area the pine needles and leaves are just adding to the duff and I won't disturb.

    Anyone here not remove leaves at all? Results?
     
  2. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    606
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I mulch thin leaf cover into the grass with a mulching mower. Doesn't seem to hurt my lawn, which is as much clover, dandelions and other stuff as it is grass at all. I worry about bigger leaves blocking sunlight to short grass if left completely alone, which is why I even bother with the mower.

    I'm guessing that too many leaves would affect soil ph and grass growth.
     

  3. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,054
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    You really don't "need" to rake them but the grass gets off to a slower start in the spring if you don't. I bag mine up with the lawnmower and put them in the garden. You'll be surprised how much 2 acres of leaves can add as far as organic matter.

    If you mulch them and let them fall between the grass blades, it may create a nitrogen demand on your lawn but shouldn't hurt unless you are really anal about having a super green lawn.
     
  4. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Southwestern PA
    We mow the leaves and leave them on the grass--I just did it last weekend, in fact--I wait until they're all down. I always heard that was good for the grass, unless you have a ton of leaves. Ours does fine that way. Oh, and I mow it on about the highest setting--not way down to the ground.
     
  5. mrglock27

    mrglock27 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    263
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Yelm, WA
    If you leave them on the ground and dont mow or rake you will have dead spots if the leaves stay in one spot for a month or two. The grass will come back, of course, if the leaves blow away or after you mow them up in the spring.
     
  6. dagwood

    dagwood Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    376
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2006
    Mulch the heck out of em with your lawnmower. You can get "mulching blades" for your mower and if you keep em sharp they will do an excellent job on making those leaves disappear. Your lawn will thank you for the extra nutrients too........
     
  7. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,171
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    WISCONSIN
    if they are very light i just mulch but if heavy i prop the gaurd on the side of the mower up ( very important NOT to have running if you value your fingers when you do this) i use a little block of wood to hold it open
    this discharges every thing out and i can mow tall grass that other wise would stall the mower when in mulch mode and through all the leaves quite well

    then i just mow in rectangles always discharging to the center and when i have a nice long pile of muched leaves i lay down a tarp with a length of conduit conected to the gromets on one edge(makes it much easier to lay out and rake leaves on by my self) and rake the pile on drag it over to the garden spread it out some and till under

    in the spring i runn around the fence with the bagger and bag up all the remaining leaves and put them right on the potatoes makes for the easies to dig potatoes i have ever done when the plant starts to yellow just give a yank and up it comes with all the potatoes still attached

    i left them on the lawn one year at my other house and they settled in to some low spots in th lawn and in the spring those areas were way behind the rest of the lawn
     
  8. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,981
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan's thumb
    a couple of big maple trees that are healthy from tapping into the sewer line sure lay down a lot of leaves. I just mowed over them, propping open that guard. Dry leaves crumble into small bits very well, you don't want to do this with wet leaves.
     
  9. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    They are called 'leaves' because nature intended you to 'leave' them there.

    My rationale anyway.
     
  10. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    891
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    Clarksville TN.
    I like to leave some of them until just before spring. Usually when you mow them off, the grass will be green underneath.Because it was protected from the freezing weather and frost.
    The leaves will also help stop the erosion during winter when the grass doesn't grow.
     
  11. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    606
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Something I found that makes mowing a bit easier... I set the front end of the mower a bit higher than the back. Solved the problem of pushing the bigger leaves around instead of chewing them up,
     
  12. vicker

    vicker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,558
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Central S. C.
    Yep, mow them in. Catch it on a good, dry day and even a heavy layer of leaves will turn to crumbles. Early in the spring, catch them on another dry day and mow once more. they'll disappear. Good stuff for lawn food also.