Should New Yorkers Skip Leaf Raking This Fall?
For years now, you've been raking and bagging all those leaves before winter. But should you actually leave them on the ground?
In the spring, a lot of people jumped on a trend that at the time seemed to be a little lazy, but was said to be good for the environment. You may remember hearing people taking part in what they called "No Mow May" where they simply let their lawn grow through the entire month of May. The idea was to help protect insect habitats and also to give bees more to pollinate.
Could the same essentially work in the fall for raking leaves?
I know...for years now you've been raking those things up, or paying some neighborhood kid to do it. But could you stop this year? According to some landscapers, t here are some pretty big benefits to leaving them:
1. They help provide shelter to bugs that are good for your lawn. While a lot of people go out of their way to get rid of bugs, there are some that are actually good for lawn growth.
2. They also provide shelter to your plants. The roots of your plants could be subjected to frost that could kill them. They could also become dehydrated. The leaves help keep moisture in the soil and could be good for your plants and grass.
3. They act as a natural fertilizer for your lawn. As they break down, they return nutrients to your lawn.
4. It could save you money. If your leaves are fertilizing your grass, you don't have to pay to do it...or at the very least, you don't have to pay as much.
Here's the kicker...too many leaves can also be bad for your lawn.
1. Too many leaves can rob your lawn of much-needed sunlight which could kill your grass.
2. They can hold in diseases and mold that could also be bad for your lawn. Yes, they'll hold in the moisture, but the mold could be bad for them.
3. It provides protection to those unwanted pests too! Yes, they provide a safe haven for good insects, but they will also provide cover for animals like moles and voles who will ultimately tear up your yard.
So where do you stand? Do you leave the leaves, or are you the kind of person that picks them up every year? It looks like when it comes to leaves, it's the rule of "everything in moderation." Too many are bad for your lawn. But it's ok to leave some to nourish your lawn throughout the winter and into spring.