I’m just going to go right into it- MUST WE PICK UP OUR DEAD LEAVES? Who is the authority on this? Mother nature? Jeff and Becky from across the street? Tradition? On surface level, it seems like an unnecessary chore of yesteryear- like ironing bedsheets (yep- that’s totally a thing). So, let’s dig in and discover together.
Before we get into the logistics, I’ll be honest- not only do I not want to spend my Saturday afternoon picking up dead leaves and stuffing them into yellow trash bags, I like the way a lawn looks with dead leaves! The visual reminds me of fall, my favorite season. And unlike an overgrown lawn or weeds, I think it looks natural and organic. I love the crunch of dead leaves and the mosaic of festive colors covering the lawn before winter comes in and ruins the party for everyone. I’ve said my piece; let’s continue:
According to TheSpruce.com, it’s a matter of lawn health. When the dead leaves fall onto our lawns, they suffocate the grass, blocking sunshine and nutrients. You may reply with “the grass is going to die anyway this winter”, but I’d counter that it’s not just hurting the surface level grass, but the roots that the grass must maintain year-round. Our lawns are made up of “cool-season grass”. This type of grass needs this season to “make hay” that’ll strengthen their roots for winter then be prepared to bloom in spring. When there’s a heavy layer of sludgy, wet dead leaves, this whole process is disrupted.
Fortunately, for your lawn to remain healthy you don’t need to snatch up every single leaf before it touches your lawn, you simply need to give a limited effort. After a windy day or a hard rain, clean up the major piles. Or run a mulching mower over the leaves to break up the consistency.
In the Midwest we are given the gift of seeing fall in its best form. Enjoy the watching the leaves changing colors and coating the streets and lawns. But remember in the grand scheme: we need a healthy lawn for spring of 2020. So, give an effort to pick up the pesky leaves- your lawn will thank you in the spring.
If you want to read more about why it’s important to pick up your leaves, go here!