Home owners tend to turn their attention away from their lawns as autumn arrives. Grass growth slows, and preparing the home itself for the coming cold months seems like a greater priority. But autumn is a crucial time of year for grass. Make a lawn-care mistake in the fall—as many people do—and it could cause problems for the entire next year or longer.
Mistake: Letting fallen leaves accumulate. Many home owners do not bother raking or blowing until nearly all the leaves are off the trees. But grass needs lots of sunlight to thrive, and the longer that leaves linger on your lawn, the less light gets through. Light-starved grass soon begins to weaken and die; creating an opening for weeds that will dog you in the future.
Better: Remove leaves whenever they cover your lawn to such a degree that you see more leaves than lawn. Also, rake whenever rain is in the forecast—dry leaves tend to blow around enough that the lawn below still gets some sun, but wet leaves mat and remain in place. (And wet leaves are much harder to remove.)
Mistake: Inadequate leaf mulching. Some home owners run a mulching mower over fallen leaves and let the cut-up pieces remain on the lawn, thinking that these mowed leaves are like mulch that will help—or at least not hurt—the lawn. It’s true that mulched leaves can be beneficial for topsoil. But it is vital that most of the mulched leaf pieces get down into the lawn rather than remain on top where they continue to prevent sun from reaching the grass blades.
But be aware that there is a fine line of just the right amount of mulched leaves and to much. Too many mulched leaves can create an impenetrable thatch layer that will take far too long to disintegrate and will block water & nutrients from getting into the soil. It can create a run off of much needed nutrients into areas that you did not intend on having them & also become a breeding ground for fungus and disease as the layer of rotting leaves is too thick and not enough oxygen is supplied to the vital areas of the composting layer of leaves. Also, keep in mind that too many leaves on the lawn will impede Legacy Turf Care’s ability to properly apply our lawn treatments. If you’re not up for the challenge of leaf removal, don’t hesitate to contact us as our maintenance division would be more than happy to assist you with leaf removal services.