Oh, I know - I can come up with all kinds of excuses why I shouldn't remove the fall leaves from my turf. It's as nature intended right? Well... not so much. You don't see lush, green grass in the forest.
My neightbors have been running a leaf blower for days! I think I could get better results with a blow dryer from Walmart! Is it really necessary to remove the leaves from your yard? Well, yes... and no.
If your only dealing with a few leaves here and there, you can probably get away with leaving the leaves. But if you've got that big oak tree and a couple of maples shedding on your beautiful lawn, it's probably a good idea to get them taken care of. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to push them to the roadside for the town leaf removal. You can use fall leaves to your advantage:
- Mow you're leaf covered lawn with your mower bag attached. The composite grass and leaf mixture makes a wonderful mulch composite around trees, shrubs and the garden
- Mow without the mower bag to simply distribute a layer of chewed up leaves that will break down easily and not suffocate the grass beneath. If you don't have a mulching type mower, just going a over a couple of times to get an even distribution will do the trick.
- If you have a compost area, your mowed up leaves add valuable nutrients to the compost mixture.
That said, if you have patches of diseased grass or crab grass, having leaves on top of that may make the problem worse (especially if they are not shredded, mowed leaves).
In short, don't obsess about leaf removal. If you haven't purchased a leaf blower, you can save your money. Just mow! If you want to use the leaves as mulch, mow with the bag on so you can collect the leaves and redistribute to areas where you need to mulch. If you mow without the bag, just make sure the leaves are evenly distributed (which a mulching mower will do) or grab a rake (gasp!) and move the leaf clippings around so they are more evenly distributed. All you're trying to do is avoid piles of leaves covering areas of turf.