Free Fertilizer? Don’t remove leaves from your lawn. Mulch them

“Environmental experts say raking leaves and removing them from your property is bad for your lawn”

Although many of us often rake fallen leaves and send them to a landfill to prevent our lawns from being smothered and to make yards look better. Experts suggest that grinding them up and leaving them on your lawn is BEST!  “Just leave them where they are and grind them up,” said John Sorochan, a professor of turfgrass science at University of Tennessee.


Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t rake your leaves and other tips to care for your lawn this fall:


Leaves and yard waste take up space in landfills

According to EPA data, yard trimmings, which include leaves, created about 34.7 million tons of waste in 2015, which is about 13% of all waste generation.


Leaving your leaves could make your lawn healthier, and save you money.

“Leaves cover up root systems, preserve soil moisture, suppress weeds and other plants. They also slowly break down and … return (essential) nutrients to plants. “It’s a perfect system. Nothing is wasted in nature. It’s free fertilizer…”

*Some leaves like maples do a great job of reducing weed seed germination while other species like honey locust add a lot of nitrogen to lawns.


Butterflies and songbirds alike depend on leaf litter.

Over winter months, a lot of butterflies and moths as pupa or caterpillar are in the leaf litter, and when you rake it up you are removing the whole population of butterflies you would otherwise see in your yard.

Without the insects in the leaf litter, you also risk driving away birds that might have come to your yard looking for food to feed their offspring in the spring.

Verne Hill
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