Fall Lawn Tip: Mowing Leaves Into Your Lawn

Autumn leaf leaves on ground of grass lawn.In New England, fall is an amazing time as whole forests of trees turn crimson and gold… and then it dumps those leaves on your lawn. Before you sigh and pick up that rake: you might be able to do some good with those leaves right where they are. By mowing leaves into your lawn, you can provide additional nutrients to your lawn for the long winter slumber and take a break from raking.

How to Mow Your Leaves

It’s a pretty straightforward process to get your mower ready to shred leaves into a compost you can leave on your lawn.

  1. Leave your grass catcher off.
  2. Raise your mower to the highest setting.
  3. Mow normally.

If your coverage of leaves is a bit spotty, especially in different parts of your lawn, you can either manually rake the lawn to even it out, or leave the grass catcher and dump out the leaf clippings where you need them, including the garden.

When to Mow Your Leaves

While the process itself is pretty straightforward, there are things you want to keep in mind to avoid issues with your mower and lawn.

  • Avoid Mowing Wet Leaves: Just like you shouldn’t mow your grass when it’s wet, wet leaves are harder to mow, resulting in larger chunks of leaves.
  • Don’t Let the Leaves Pile Up: While it’s tempting to let your whole lawn be coated in leaves before you mow, too dense a layer of leaf clippings can be just as dangerous as the leaves in the first place. If after mowing you can’t see about 50% of your lawn through the clippings, rake up some of the leaves.

Also, don’t worry about thatch buildup due to those leaves, leaves decompose fairly quickly. However, if you have issues with thatch, check out our blog, The Perfect Time for Lawn Aeration, for tips on how to deal with that. Also, while lawns can benefit from leaf clippings, make sure that’s only part of your lawn fertilization regiment.

If you’re looking for lawn care specialists in Massachusetts, contact Dolan Landscaping. We’re a full-service landscape and maintenance contractor dedicated to making sure your entire landscape, from lawns to hardscape, is beautiful year-round.