Every year when the fall season arrives, the leaves from trees start falling onto your lawn. Many people like trees close to their house and lawn as they add beauty to your house. The covered turf from the leaves is a sign that it’s time to gear up. This seasonal change affects many of us, and sometimes it becomes difficult to mow the lawn frequently. Cleaning up your lawn is a lot of work. People use different methods to remove dried leaves. The traditional method used is raking. This method is effective but slow and time-consuming. For many people, it can also cause pain in your shoulders and callouses on your hands. An alternative method to raking is using your lawnmower to mow the leaves
Mowing leaves in the fall, is it an effective method to remove your leaves?
In general, mowing over the leaves is an effective method to remove them from your lawn. It will turn them into mulch that can be returned to the soil. Mowing in the fall is less based on your grass’s growth and more on the rate at which your leaves fall. Mow your lawn each time you see a thin layer of leaves covering your turf. The mulch that’s produced will then easily be absorbed by the grass, soil and turned into nutrients that will improve the grass’s health on your lawn.
This article will learn how to mow leaves in the fall and get rid of traditional methods, such as raking. You will also master the art of collecting leaves effectively and easily.
Mowing fallen leaves
For mowing your lawn, there are many powerful mulching mowers on the market today. Besides heavy professional machinery, you can use your conventional mower, with speciall mulch blades designed to mow the fallen leaves. However, it is not the only way. It does not mean that you can’t mow your lawn with your regular mower. You can trim the grass with any readily available mowing machine, but it can take a few rounds to do it well. No matter what type of mowing machine, you have always set the blade to its highest point and regularly remove the bag that collects the clippings.
A few leaves will not hurt your lawn, but it will become necessary to remove them as soon as they begin to pile up. These leaves will cover up the turf and prevent the sunlight from reaching the grass deeply. It also reduces the air circulation between grass blades, which can cause fungal disease.
Besides this, as leaves start to gather on the grass, they prevent the grass from growing well. The thick layer of leaves blocks the sunlight from reaching the grass, which means that the soil underneath remains wet. This can cause the turf roots to rot if the soil’s moisture remains for a long time. This is why are you need to be more observant and active in the fall.
Generally, the right time to mow fallen leaves off your lawn is when you cannot see half of the grass blades or when they cover more than one-third of the total grass. Whenever you decide to mow the leaves, it is always best to do it before the rain comes and turns the dry leaves into a soaked mat. Wet leaves will clump together and get stuck in the mower too.
So when you’re about to mow your lawn for fallen leaves, keep these things in mind. Your aim should be to trim the leaves into pieces about an inch long. The number of times you need to mow the fallen leaves into pieces of your desired size depends on the number of leaves falling into your yard.
When done with mowing, take a look at the shredded pieces because they must have fallen between the grass blades to reveal much more of the lawn. And the result will be the same as raking, and no one would be able to tell that you have mowed these leaves.
Sometimes after mowing, when you look at your lawn, the results will not satisfy you – the scattered leaves don’t let you see the lawn properly. In this case, you need to attach the bag to your mowing machine and mow over the lawn again. By doing this, some scattered leaves will be collected in your bag that you can then add to your garden beds or your compost pile.
The scattered leaves that are collected in a bag take up very little space due to their small size. The volume of these leaves will be reduced two to four times. This means you have to handle a small number of leaves. To keep on top of this problem, you should mow the fallen leaves from time to time so that there is not enough time between cuttings for the challenging number of leaves to gather on your lawn.
These scattered leaves enrich the soil with essential nutrients that nourish the germs and worms present in any healthy grass. The nitrogen supplementation from the mowing leaves means that you won’t even need to apply compost in the fall. Thus compared to raking, mulching leaves is not only easier but also less expensive, as it saves you money and time on fertilizing.
Effect of Shredded Leaves on Lawn
After mowing fallen leaves, they scatter into small pieces, and these shredded leaves will not damage your lawn. These leaves are a great help to your lawn. After decomposition, these leaves cover the grass soil between the grass blades, where the weeds can grow. Once the tiny leaf fragments have settled, the germs and worms there begin to disintegrate. The leaves must be cut up because if all the leaves were left on the grass. It can kill the grass. The broken leaves quickly settle on the grass, and your lawn recovers its natural beauty.
According to a study, several species of leaves like oak leaves and maple leaves were mowed and distributed over experimental grasses and found to have little or no adverse effect on turf quality – no side effects. The cut maple leaves after mulching even appeared to block broad weeds like dandelions.
There is much incorrect information when it comes to oak leaves and their role in mulch. While it is correct to say that they seem to take forever to fall from a tree and that also these leaves are strong and hard to mow, yet it remains true that a cut oak leaf is acid-free. According to a Michigan State study, the soil pH wasn’t changed even after six periods of mulching oak leaves.
Tips for Better Mowing
Mowing leaves in the fall is a tricky process. This is why people share negative experiences and complain that their grass has become weaker and thinner at this time. When you keep the layers of untreated leaves on your lawn, they will surely have a negative impact on your lawn.
As such, do not mow leaves to the point where they cover and kill the grass. The blades of grass should be upright and visible through mowed leaves. Some areas may help spread the mulch around from dense areas to areas with a minor tree cover.
If mowing is done well and the grass’s performance is still not great, there could well be other factors. The health of the soil’s insects may be poor. Mulched leaves behave as a supplement to the soil, not as a fertilizer. You still need to provide your grass with fertilizers. Healthy soil microbes aid in the process of decomposition and provide help in fighting a layer of mulch.
Besides these tips, you need to follow some of the following measures before mowing the leaves in the fall.
Most mowing machines are designed in such a way that their blades can cut fallen leaves as well as grass. Before mowing, make sure the blades are sharp and, if not, you need to replace them. You can also use electric mowers, which are far less polluting but just as effective as gasoline mowers. Electric mowers provide you with many other advantages – they’re less have and don’t need gas. Just be careful not to mow when you have kids around.
The blade selection of your mowing machine is very important for the effective mowing of fallen leaves. You should choose gator blades with teeth rather than straight blades because they are a lot better for fall cleaning if you have many leaves. They will mow your lawn perfectly. Replacing the blade on a machine is very easy and can be done in small home mowers and more technical mowers.
When buying a mowing blade with teeth, make sure you get the right type for your mower. The teeth’ direction should be towards the point of contact, not away from it.
Mowing Leaves from Hard Surfaces and Perennial Beds
Mowing leaves from hard surfaces such as driveways and patios are also possible. After mowing, take the combined leaves back to your garden beds, around trees, or your lawn, of course. You can also spread them on the grass and then mow them again.
A thick layer of mulch is not suitable for perennials and wildflowers. Carefully rake the excess leaves from those plants, place them in rows, and then mow them. Some amount will reduce the capacity. The remaining leaves can be placed on perennials’ beds, where they will drop down to form a winter protective layer and gradually turn into compost, enriching the soil.
There is no need to remove the leaves from the ground covering plants like pachysandra. Instead, rustle the plants with a rake so that the leaves fall under the plants. It is much easier and faster than removing leaves. They will rot and then be transformed into nutrients in the coming summer.
Fallen leaves on your grass can provide benefits as well as cause problems for your grass. As such, be very cautious and attentive during the fall, as ignoring these leaves can be very hazardous for your lawn’s health. As soon as you start noticing leaves on your lawn, take action immediately. It would be best if you mowed the leaves in the fall from time to time so that they do not make a thick layer on your grass.
Mowing leaves in the fall is an excellent way to provide nutrition for your lawn. By following the guidelines here, you will achieve a healthy-looking lawn ready for the cold winter season. Having enough food for the fall and coming winter season saves your yard from problems that can arise from harsh weather.