Leaf management in lawns is essential, especially in autumn when fallen leaves pile up. There are several ways to remove the leaves, including raking, blowing, and mulching. Each method has pros and cons, and this post will discuss them to help you decide which is better for your lawn.
Assessing Your Lawn’s Needs
To determine the best way to manage or remove leaves from your yard, you must consider several factors, including the size of your lawn, the types of trees on your property, and any common allergens in the area.
The size of the lawn is the first thing you should consider. If you have a large lawn, manual raking is a no-go unless you have all the time in the world and are willing to break your back. Raking may still work if you have less than a hundred square meters of lawn. Blowing leaves may be a good option no matter the size of your lawn, but it also has downsides you need to take into account.
Another variable you should consider is the types of trees on your property. There are two types of trees to be aware of: deciduous trees and evergreen trees.
Deciduous trees lose all their leaves in fall, while evergreen trees retain their foliage all year round. Canada has many native deciduous trees, including the American plum, bigleaf maple, and black cherry. If you have deciduous trees, you’ll deal with a significantly larger leaf volume in the fall. In this case, is it better to rake leaves or mulch? You may want to do both.
Lastly, consider common allergens in your area. Some trees release pollen or other allergenic particles when their leaves decompose. These allergens can exacerbate allergies and respiratory issues in some individuals. Being aware of the trees on your property and their potential allergenic impact can help you plan your leaf removal strategy in a way that minimizes health concerns for you and your neighbours.
Raking Leaves: Pros and Cons
Raking is a trusted way of cleaning up fallen leaves on a lawn. Just like other methods of leaf removal, it also has its fair share of pros and cons.
There are many benefits to raking leaves. First, this method isn’t harsh to the environment since rakes do not emit harmful gasses or chemicals. Raking tools are also generally affordable. You can get a decent rake for less than 50 dollars.
Aside from that, raking does not produce loud noises that could disturb the neighbourhood. And even kids can handle the task.
Raking leaves takes a lot of time and energy, so it isn’t ideal if you have a large lawn. Additionally, it can be quite challenging to remove every last leaf, particularly from corners. However, this isn’t really a big deal since leaving a few fallen leaves around won’t hurt your lawn. Keep in mind that raking too aggressively or two frequently can damage your lawn, too (especially if your rake is outdated, bent, or overly sharp).
Blowing Leaves: Pros and Cons
This method uses a leaf blower to blow leaves off your lawn. If you’re considering this option this year, here are some pros and cons that hopefully help you decide whether the practice fits your lawn’s current condition.
Speed is the best thing about using a leaf blower to remove leaves from your lawn. It can clear leaves faster than raking. It’s also less physically demanding. You only need to turn on the leaf blower and watch it blow the leaves where you want them to go. This method is also good for your back since you won’t have to bend over.
Using a leaf blower to remove leaves from your lawn may seem ideal, but it also has many disadvantages.
First, a blower is more expensive than a rake. Although you may find products for less than 50 bucks, most decent options cost a couple hundred. The tool also requires maintenance to stay in its best condition. You have to clean and change the filters, clean the fan blades, replace the spark plug, etc.
Aside from that, a leaf blower can blow not just leaves. It can kick up whatever is in your lawn, including animal feces, pesticides, and pollen. And when you turn the blower on, it produces loud noises that can disrupt wildlife and your neighbours.
Mulching Leaves Into Lawn Clippings: Pros and Cons
If you search “What is the most efficient way to remove leaves from a lawn?” online, most articles would say mulching. And that’s largely right. Mulching leaves is considered an ideal method for leaf removal. But like other options, mulching also has negatives.
Leaf mulching is the process of chopping leaves into smaller pieces using a leaf shredder or lawn mower. It is generally the most efficient way to remove leaves from your lawn. You don’t need to pile and bag the leaves, which will take additional time and money. It’s like mowing the lawn, except you’re cutting fallen leaves instead of the grass.
Mulching can also help improve the health of the soil and reduce noise pollution. And since the city does not need to pick up and dispose of your leaves, you support the environment in a small way.
Mulching leaves only works when there’s a thin layer of fallen leaves. If fallen leaves quickly pile up, you may need a different method because a thick layer of mulch is likely to suffocate the lawn. Also, this method does not work with pine needles. You cannot mulch when the leaves are wet because they can smother your lawn and clog the mower blades.
Additionally, you will need a mower with a curved mulching blade so it can churn the leaves into smaller pieces. This tool does not come cheap.
Composting Leaves: Pros and Cons
Once you’ve determined the best leaf removal method, the next thing you need to worry about is how to dispose of leaves. You can bag the leaves up and wait for the city to pick them up, blow them into the deep parts of the woods, or add them to your compost bin. Composting is quite beneficial, so let’s discuss it further.
Composting fallen leaves makes a dark, earthy, rich organic matter that you can use like soil. It can add nutrients to your garden and even repel weeds when used as a top dressing. To use this method, you’ll need a compost bin that stays warm and is large enough to accommodate all the leaves in your lawn.
Fallen leaves are a valuable organic resource. If it’s possible to keep them on-site, do so. You can add leaves to your compost pile to create “black gold” you can use in your lawn and garden to improve soil structure and quality.
The problem with adding leaves to your compost pile is that they may have pathogens that can infest the compost and compromise the health of your garden. You also need to maintain a proper balance in the compost pile.
Leaf Removal: Making the Best Choice for You and Your Lawn
As previously mentioned, the best way to remove leaves from yard areas depends on several factors, including your lawn’s needs, your time, and the proposed budget. If you have a small lawn and spare time, raking can be a great fit. For medium to large lawns, blowing or mulching are much better options.
Aside from removing leaves, you must also give your lawn the care it needs to thrive. If you need help keeping your lawn in its best condition, consider LawnMart. With our six-step lawn care process and organic products, your lawn will stay healthy and lush.
We offer a free quote, so don’t hesitate to contact LawnMart today if you need lawn care services.