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Fall Leaves – Mulching is better for your yard

November 1, 2022
Ken Burger

Don’t Rake Those Leaves — Mulch Them Into Your Lawn

Large shade trees in your yard are great in the summer, but come fall, those big trees drop leaves and that means a lot of extra fall clean up. There’s good news however; a study done at Michigan State University shows that you can forget about raking, blowing, and bagging leaves. Instead, just mulch them with your lawn mower and feed your lawn with a nitrogen-rich lawn fertilizer.  Leaf mulching will save you work, improve your soil, and add nutrients.

Chop Those Leaves With Your Mower

Take the grass catcher off your mower and mow over the leaves on your lawn. You want to reduce your leaf clutter to dime-size pieces. You’ll know you’re done mowing leaves when about half an inch of grass can be seen through the mulched leaf layer. Once the leaf bits settle in, microbes and worms get to work recycling them. Any kind of rotary-action mower will do the job, and any kind of leaves can be chopped up. With several passes of your mower, you can mulch up to 18 inches of leaf clutter.

Feed Your Lawn To Speed Up The Process

Soil microbes do a better job recycling carbon from leaves when they have nitrogen. Applying a nitrogen rich fertilizer after mulching your leaves will not only fertilize your lawn but also feed the microbes so they can break down the leaves faster. Your grass will be greener, and soil microbes will work harder, when you feed your lawn after leaf mulching.

See Great Results in the Spring

When spring arrives, you’ll notice something: The leaf litter you mulched up in the fall will have disappeared. Meanwhile, your rake will look dusty and neglected—but your grass will look greener than ever.

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