As autumn takes its grip, the sight of falling leaves is a seasonal marvel. While walking through carpets of crisp, fallen leaves is a delightful experience during a countryside stroll, it presents a different challenge when those leaves descend onto your home lawn.
The question arises: Will fallen leaves actually damage your lawn, and what’s the most effective way to address this issue?
WILL FALLEN LEAVES THREATEN YOUR LAWN?
In a word – yes, fallen leaves can indeed harm your lawn if allowed to accumulate over an extended period. Here’s an overview of the potential problems they can cause:
- Smothering the grass: Much like any covering, a thick layer of fallen leaves can block sunlight from reaching the grass blades. This light deprivation impedes photosynthesis, causing the grass to suffer from a lack of light and nutrients. If left unattended for a prolonged time, the grass may weaken or even perish in affected areas.
- Promoting fungal diseases: Decaying, damp leaves create ideal conditions for fungal diseases to thrive. These diseases can quickly spread throughout your lawn when it’s concealed beneath fallen leaves.
- Encouraging moss growth: Compacted fallen leaves provide moss with an environment where it can thrive, as it faces less competition from the grass. Moss growth is a sign of poor lawn health, and as it spreads, it further stifles the growth of grass.
- Creating patchy bare areas: Where fallen leaves accumulate for an extended period, grass will recede. This leaves unsightly bare patches when the leaves are eventually removed, necessitating reseeding to restore your lawn’s lush appearance.
- Harbouring pests: Slugs and other insects find a welcoming home in piles of decomposing leaves. These pests can wreak havoc on your lawn when spring arrives.
In summary, while a light covering of leaves during autumn is manageable, accumulated fallen leaves can be detrimental to both the health and appearance of your lawn. The good news is that removing them can be a relatively straightforward process.
HOW TO EFFECTIVELY REMOVE FALLEN LEAVES FROM YOUR LAWN
To prevent lawn damage and keep your lawn in good condition, it’s essential to take action as soon as fallen leaves start to accumulate. Here are five effective methods to consider:
- Rake It Up: The traditional approach involves regularly raking up fallen leaves using a bamboo rake with wire or plastic tines. Be cautious not to rake down to the soil, as this could damage the grass blades. Regular raking, ideally on a weekly basis, prevents a buildup of fallen leaves.
- Mow It Up: Adjust your lawnmower blades to a higher setting to safely mulch fallen leaves as you mow. The shredded leaf pieces will decompose into the lawn, adding valuable nutrients to the soil. Empty the mower bag frequently to avoid blockages.
- Blow Them Away: Utilize a leaf blower to effortlessly clear leaves from your lawn. Blow the fallen leaves across the lawn into a single pile for easier removal. However, exercise caution to avoid blowing away precious topsoil along with the leaves. This method is most effective for clearing large volumes of leaves quickly.
- Leave Them Be: In the case of a light scattering of leaves on your lawn, you can opt to leave them. Running over them once or twice with a lawnmower will shred the leaves into fine pieces. This leaf mulch will naturally decompose, enriching the grass with added nutrition. Monitor the lawn and use the above methods to remove excess leaf buildup as needed.
By taking proactive measures as soon as fallen leaves start to accumulate, you can prevent any leaf-induced damage to your lawn. Whenever possible, consider composting the leaves you remove. Your lawn will remain lush, green, and healthy throughout autumn and beyond.
For further advice on lawn care and maintaining a healthy lawn during the winter season, feel free to contact us at George Davies Turf.
George Davies Turf
Photo by Jennifer Victor-Larsen: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-maple-leaf-on-green-grass-in-focus-photography-11352/