Do I really need to rake my leaves?

Each year as summer comes to a close, you probably notice those few first leaves that start to change colors and tumble into your yard as a prelude to the deluge of foliage that fall will bring. If you are like most homeowners, you probably wonder if you need to rake your leaves.

Why Do People Rake Their Leaves?

gardenclub.homedepot.com

gardenclub.homedepot.com

There is the simple and obvious answer to this question: It is more aesthetically pleasing to see a yard clear of leaves than one with randomly scattered piles of wet and stinky muck. However, there are more practical reasons behind clearing leaves from your yard and walkways. Take a look at a few of the more pressing reasons why people rake their leaves.

  • Let It Breathe. The lawn, that is. Generally, raking the leaves to combat suffocating the lawn is not necessary unless there is a large volume of leaves, but it doesn’t hurt to remove them, particularly in case of large winter snowfalls that will compound any leaf buildup left behind. Additionally, a leaf buildup combined with a large snowfall could result in fungal disease that attacks grass.
  • Safety First. Leaves left in the yard can become treacherous during damp weather, especially when they end up on the sidewalk. Avoiding missteps and leaf slips is another sound reason to remove leaves.

Is It Entirely Necessary to Rake Leaves?

The short and sweet answer to this question is “no.” You have other options available that will make clearing leaves from your yard simpler.

It is important to check with your city’s laws and rules about yard waste since disposal is often specific to your local ordinances. Some cities assign fines if you rake your leaf waste into the streets while some communities collect leaves directly from the street.

What Are Some Simple and Savvy Alternative Solutions to Spending Hours Raking and Bagging Leaves?

cityofelgin.org

cityofelgin.org

There are a few fantastic alternative solutions to spending hours raking and bagging your yard’s abundance of leaves.

  • “Leave” Them Alone. Don’t rake your leaves; instead, let them sit until they are nice and crunchy. At that point, pull out your lawn mower and shred them into tiny pieces. Then you can simply leave them where they are to serve as a free and natural mulch for your soil. Studies have shown that leaf residue can actually help deter weed growth.
  • Put a Neighborhood Kid to Work. Help your own child or a neighborhood kid save for their financial goals and hand the rake over to them.

If you are a purist and insist on following tradition and raking your own leaves, consider a brief break to drive through New England for some premier foliage sightseeing along with a cozy stay at Stonehurst Manor in North Conway, NH. A beautiful NH Weekend Trip and a drink or two by the fire will rejuvenate you enough to finish the leaf raking job when you return home.

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