As the leaves start to fall the debate begins, to rake or not to rake? There are a few hot takes on the subject, each with their own seemingly valid reasoning.
- Raking Theory – You Must Remove The Leaves Off Your Lawn To Prevent Smothering Your Grass, Preventing Disease And Slowing Down New Grass Growth In The Spring. Raking Is Your Only Option. The Leaves Are Usually Bagged And Sent To The Landfill.
- Leaf Mulching Theory – Don’t Rake Your Leaves, Mulch Them With Your Lawn Mower. This Allows The Smaller Pieces Of Leaves To Act As Future Fertilizer For Your Lawn. However, You Can’t Wait Until Your Trees Have Dumped All Of Their Leaves On Your Lawn. This Method Works Best When You Mulch Weekly Until All Fallen Leaves Have Been Mulched. This Method Does Not Require Any Bagging Of Leaves.
- Pollinator Theory – Leave The Leaves Where They Fall. This is a theory that David Suzuki stands behind. “Butterflies begin in leaves, as larvae. Those brown, dead leaves are the planet’s butterfly nursery. They’re home to butterfly larvae, microbes and worms. And leaf litter is where many species of butterflies and moths overwinter as pupae. Animals like toads, shrews and salamanders benefit from leaf litter to hide and hunt, too.”
Overall the general consensus seems to be that if you can’t leave the leaves (haha) alone, that you should restrain yourself and simply mulch them as it has a vast number of benefits including protecting root systems, preserving soil moisture, helping wildlife and the lawn mower will help cut weeds providing critical light for your grass; where as full removal really only stands to appease you visually.