Leaves: To Rake Or Not To Rake?

Posted on: 2 September 2016

Every fall, homeowners are faced with huge piles of leaves. You not only have to deal with the leaves from your trees; you also have to deal with the leaves blowing from other people's yards. Raking and bagging these leaves is a long and tedious business. Some experts say that this process is not necessary, but you may worry that you are shirking your duty. Should you bother your leaves or just let them lie?


Leaving your leaves alone offers benefits to your lawn. In fact, they add nutrients to the soil that allow you to skip some or all of your spring fertilizing routine. Your grass will look better next year, and the soil itself will be healthier. The environment benefits because bagged leaves have to be buried or otherwise disposed of if picked up by your municipality.

Wildlife also benefits when leaves are left on the ground. Various species use leaves as shelter and nesting materials. Insects also benefit, and even if you are not a big fan of bugs, you need them to keep your lawn in good shape.


Some experts warn that leaves should only cover a portion of your lawn. If too much of the turf is covered, the leaves can harm the grass and even "smother" it and limit its spring growth. Your lawn can also develop snow mold diseases that can further harm your grass. No more than 10 -20% of your yard should be covered by leaves. Also, as much as you want to encourage the health of wildlife, too many leaves can cause you a pest problem in the spring.

Since experts also suggest that you continue to use your sprinklers in the fall, after taking a brief break, not raking your leaves means creating prime conditions for leaf mold, something you or a family member may be allergic to. In that situation, bagging the leaves will be in the best interest of your health.

Yard Work

You do not need to slave over your yard each fall. Instead of bagging all of your leaves, only get rid of the excess that may cause problems. Another choice is to mow your leaves. The small pieces left behind will offer the fertilization benefits that you want with much less effort than raking requires. Do not worry about the neighbors' opinions: your lawn really isn't their concern.

Before you know it, the leaves will begin to fall, and you will have to make a decision about lawn care. Unless you have allergies, you can safely let many leaves lie where they land without fear of negative consequences. Take advantage of the natural fertilization they provide and find something more enjoyable to do with your time. For more information about lawn maintenance, contact Pattie Group, Inc or a similar company.