Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Why Bother Raking the Leaves Off the Lawn?

septembre 13
Photo: terren in Virginia

Perennials, shrubs, trees, etc. tolerate fall leaves and even love it their base is covered with dead leaves in the autumn. This creates a natural mulch that feeds them and protects them from the harsh winter conditions to come. Lawns, on the other hand, cannot tolerate such an invasion. Remember that lawns don’t exist in the wild. They are an artificial medium maintained only by hard work.

The problem is that lawn grasses continue to carry out photosynthesis throughout the fall and until the ground freezes, so they need as much sun as they can get. Fall leaves cut off their source of energy. It therefore is necessary to continue to rake up leaves until the growth of the lawn stops, which is usually, in Northern gardens, when snow or a good solid freezing finally ends their growing season. The presence of a few leaves won’t harm a lawn, but when a layer of leaves forms that cuts off all the light, it’s time to get your rake or blower out and move those leaves somewhere else.

Garden writer and blogger, author of more than 60 gardening books, the laidback gardener, Larry Hodgson, lives and gardens in Quebec City, Canada. The Laidback Gardener blog offers more than 2,500 articles to passionate home gardeners, always with the goal of demystifying gardening and making it easier for even novice gardeners. If you have a gardening question, enter it in Search: the answer is probably already there!

1 comment on “Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

  1. Aw, don’t tell them not to rake their leaves. I spend the fall picking up those tidy, clear, plastic bags of leaves that my neighbors dump on the curb. It’s free mulch, and I call it treasure hunting.

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