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 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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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