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It is that time of year again, when the weather starts to change. The daylight is shortened and the temperature begins to decrease a little bit. The temperature is not the only thing that is falling, though. The leaves are starting to fall from the trees covering yards. Yards with a lot of trees can be completely covered, just like a blanket of snow. You may wonder if it is really necessary to rid your own yard of these fallen leaves. After all, it can be a beautiful scene with leaves scattered all over the grass, bringing back memories of all the fun you’ve had walking through thick patches of leaves or jumping into a large pile of them. However, in order to protect the life of your grass, it is necessary to remove the fallen leaves eventually.
Within the next month or two, all of the leaves should have fallen from the trees, and homeowners should begin the process of removing the decaying leaves off of the grass. There are many reasons why leaves should not be left lying on the grass throughout the wintertime. Fallen leaves create a barrier that prevents the grass from receiving essential sunlight and inhibits the “breathing” ability of the grass blades. When layers of grass become wet, they create a perfect environment for mold to grow and insects to gather, as they look for a place to build their homes. Other yard diseases that thrive in damp environments are brown patch and snow mold. Grass diseases are often easier to prevent than to treat; therefore, you are more likely to prevent diseases by removing piles of leaves off of your grass.
The actual process of removing the leaves can be a physically demanding chore. You will need to decide if you will complete the chore yourself, or hire help to complete the job for you. With either choice, there are a few ways to get the job done. Some people believe in mulching the leaves with a lawn mower, and leaving the small, chopped-up pieces of leaves lying on the grass. This process is usually fine for the health of your grass because the tiny pieces of leaves tend to fall into place between grass blades, and act like a fertilizer for your grass.
Another way to rid your lawn of fallen leaves is to rake or blow them into piles and then place them in bags for disposal. It is important to check your city’s requirements for leaf disposal, because some cities require the use of paper bags or clear plastic bags. Some cities even allow homeowners to arrange piles of leaves along the front yard, and city trucks with large vacuums will pick them up on your designated yard-waste removal day. Some requirements also include a limit to the amount of leaves that can be collected in a given day, so you may need to inquire about that also.