There is plenty of misinformation floating around on the subject of lawn maintenance, and much confusion around the question, “Should I rake leaves?” We’d like to clear up some of the confusion and answer the question of whether or not you should rake your leaves.
Should I Rake Leaves?
If you’re like many people, you’re probably hoping that the answer is no. Unfortunately, it is not. You really should rake your leaves. And not just once they have all fallen and it’s about to snow either.
This will likely require that you rake more than once a season, but if you start when the leaves start falling it is better for the overall health of your grass. Unfortunately, damage to your sod can begin once wet leaves are left to sit for an extended period of time – producing an environment ideal to attract fungal diseases and pests.
Some people mistakenly believe that leaves can act as insulation for your soil over the cold winter months, but mulch is actually much better for that.
Lawn Problems if you Leave it Covered With Leaves
Many people wonder, why rake leaves off the lawn anyway? The reason you should rake your leaves goes beyond cosmetic, it is necessary for maintaining your grass’s health. If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, it’s likely that it is healthier than yours, because the odds are fairly good your neighbour’s soil has similar characteristics to yours.
Your lawn has to breathe, leaving a thick layer of unshredded leaves on top of it over winter will smother it by not allowing it the oxygen it needs. That smothering layer invites pests and diseases that can cause serious lawn problems for you like brown patch and snow mold.
Not only does the barrier block oxygen, but it also keeps water and healthy nutrients from penetrating the root system of your grass. When the leaves get matted down they can prevent new grass blades from emerging next spring.
What Else Should I do for My Lawn in the Fall?
Don’t forget to fertilize! Right before the frost appears is the best time to fertilize your lawn. Applying fertilizer in the fall facilitates the growth of deeper roots which is integral for your grass to get the nutrients it needs to survive and thrive, despite cooler temperatures.
Apply high-quality grass seed in any bare spots to help initiate new growth in the spring.
Your grass needs oxygen, water, and fertilizer to successfully reach all the way to the grass’ roots, aerating the grass in the fall facilitates this process. You may want to hire a professional for this task, or at the very least a powered aeration machine if you have a big yard.
You don’t need to suffer from grass envy, you can improve the health of your grass in the fall, and we can help. Contact the team at Van Beek’s for all of your fall lawn maintenance needs and products this season. With decades of experience, we’re well equipped to answer all your landscaping questions!