We have all been there. In the midst of back pain and sore arms as we scour every inch of our yard raking leaves, when you have this thought “why am I even doing this?” Raking leaves is one of those things your grandparents did, so your parents did, so now you do, and you may not even know why.
It’s all natural, right? Why do we clear the leaves from our yard when they come from nature themselves?
Well the answer is not all about vanity and appearances; it’s about the health of your lawn.
Your lawn needs to breath
Just like humans and all other living plants, air is key to keeping your grass alive. When leaves fall upon your grass, it can still breath, as leaves tend to be light and blow around. It’s when the snow falls on top of the leaves on your grass that you run into a problem.
When leaves get packed down from snow, your lawn no longer has that breathing room. The un-raked leaves become like insulation, preventing air from entering or escaping your lawn, damaging (if not killing) the grass below.
A home for pests and disease
This leaf layer under the snow also causes additional issues for you, as a it creates a wonderful home for pests. Like we said earlier, leaves under the snow can act as insulation which means they create a warm, safe, place for pests to take over your lawn. That will make for a very unpleasant surprise when the snow melts.
A leafy layer beneath the snow also can breed disease for your lawn. Snow mold and brown patches are another thing you don’t want to be surprised with in the spring.
Spring time challenges
In addition to suffocating your lawn, this leaf barrier can also prevent other nutrients like water and sunlight from getting to your lawn’s root systems. Over the winter the health of your grass will severely decrease. Matted down leaves can even keep new blades of grass from emerging in the spring.
While the rest of the world springs to life, your lawn will stay brown and dormant.
The good news
The good news is you don’t have to hunt down every single leaf in your yard like they are on FBI’s most wanted, unless you’re going for the perfect lawn award. A few leaves here and there can be okay for your lawn.
But once you have a blanket of leaves covering your grass, it’s time to go to work. Trust us, it’s much easier to rake up dry, freshly fallen leaves then it is to collect the wet, matted clumps that winter leaves behind.
If you have questions about the health of your lawn, our experts in landscape design near Dayton, Ohio have all the answers to help you keep your yard as healthy and eye catching as possible.
So this fall as you rake your leaves, know you are doing the best thing you can for your lawn. Have fun with it, get the family involved, maybe even jump in a pile or two, and when the thought crosses your mind, “why am I even doing this” you’ll know why!