This truly is one the best times of year! There is a crisp fall chill is in the air, and the trees are displaying some gorgeous changing leaves. Nonetheless, we all know that it’s all fun and games for another week or two until all of the colorful foliage drops from the tree limbs and unceremoniously onto our lawns.
I don’t think I’ve personally ever met anyone who loves to rake. The act can be frustrating and downright tedious. Fortunately for all of you amateur landscapers out there, we have a great trick that will help you save some much-needed time this season.
Did you know that, instead of slaving over piles of crunchy, dead leaves, you can simply take out your lawnmower and mow over them?
Shocking, right? I know that most of us have been told that letting leaves sit on the grass over winter hurts the landscape, but this technique may actually help your lawn look better than ever before!
According to Bayer Advanced, the main goal is to make sure that you only mow over areas that have a light covering of leaves on the surface of the grass. If you have a particularly prolific tree on you property that sheds a great deal of leaves, you can spread out the fallen leaves so that they lightly, but evenly cover your lawn.
Next, you are going to want to break out your lawnmower and put it on the ‘chop’ or ‘shred’ setting. Mow over the leaves until they are broken up into dime-sized pieces.
Bayer Advanced goes on to say that, if you follow this technique correctly, you should see 50% of the lawn peeking through the shredded leaves.
From there, you are free to allow the leaves to stay settled and decompose for the winter. Better yet, the leaves will actually “winterize” your lawn, even through rough weather like snow. The dead foliage increases nitrogen levels, acting as a natural fertilizer.
If you are convinced that this method is going to be your new “go-to”, then the folks at University of Minnesota have some additional helpful tips for you.
They say that if you want to perform this method with success, you must proceed with a bit of caution. For instance, before starting the process, take note of the types of trees that you have on your property first.
Leaves from trees with leaf diseases such as apple scab, anthracnose, or leaf spot should be removed or destroyed to prevent over-wintering of the disease organisms in the debris and possible re-infection of new leaves next year.
These experts go on to say that there is good news for homeowners who have an oak tree on their property. The leaves of this tree decompose very slowly, meaning that the grass will benefit from greater and more prolonged periods of heightened nitrogen levels.
Well, I certainly feel grateful for my oak tree now. This tip really does give rakers and mowers the best of both worlds.
Have you used this rake-free technique before? What are some of your favorite lawn hacks? Please tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!