Every year, the dreadful tradition of raking up leaves takes place. The funny thing is, we do this without any real reasoning behind it. Is it actually advantageous to rake leaves up? Or is it simply an old timer’s tradition that started many generations ago and passed on to us? In today’s blog, we’ll discuss the facts behind leaf raking and what you can do to optimize the situation.

If only a small amount of leaves are found on your property (20% coverage), you can easily leave them there over winter. They won’t cause any serious issues. However, if an excessive amount of leaves are found on the property, raking should be done. But why?

Leaving an excessive leaf matter on your yard will smother the grass and most likely inhibit growth come next spring. These leaves will be soaked and will add constant weight, directly on your delicate grass. Damage to the surfaced lawn is inevitable and damage to the roots is more than likely. Ultimately, the leaf surface will block sunlight and prevent proper water evaporation. Which brings me to my second point.

With the lack of air circulation, improper drying and a constant wet surface, mold and fungus can arise. This issue may be less of a concern to you in you don’t have kids or pets. However, for those who do, spring time may be of some concern. Poisoning from mold and other diseases that may have built up over the winter can always occur.

Lastly, critters such as mice are more likely to seek shelter on your property if haven’t cleared those leaves. The leaf matter can act as an insulation for them when the cold weather hits. With critters staying on your property, they are also more likely to find a way inside your home and to form a nest there.

So, after reading the segment above, you understand the importance of clearing out the leaves from your yard. No, this isn’t just an old timer’s tradition, there are some clear benefits. So what is the best way to go about it?

Your typical, old timer way is to rake, bag and dispose of the leaves. But there is a 2016 way to complete this task. Studies have been done, which actually show advantages to mowing your leaves into a pile to pick them up. Nutrients and organic matter are left behind when leaves are mowed. This enriches the quality of the soil and allows for an easier growth of grass. When mowed, certain types of leaves such as maple with actually prevent the growth of weeds for the next summer.

What to do with the mowed leaves? If you find yourself with a lawn growing in patches, take the opportunity to plant a few tress and flower beds in these areas. Simply plant, cover with a pile of mowed leaves mixed with top soil and add water. The leaves will not only serve as a “mulch” they will also provide adequate water for the plant to grow. Not to mention, the nutrients which will be deposited in the ground beneath speed up the growth process by quite a lot!

If you have any questions concerning today’s blog, or any inquiries on our Online Home Inspection Program, please don’t hesitate to contact us!