Here Are Some Surprisingly Awesome Reasons Not to Rake Your Leaves
If you claim to enjoy it, you're a liar.
Every now and then, usually in the springtime, I'll come across someone who claims they love doing yard work, like raking leaves. It's funny though, I feel like if you go to that same person's house in the middle of the job, they look like they want to die. Or that they'd just disintegrate and disappear in the wind... Along with the leaves.
But, what if I told you there were a host of awesome reasons why you should just leave (see what I did there?) them right where they are. It's true! According to the BDN, there are lots of actual science-y reasons why you should just not touch them until spring. So it's not like you can avoid the job forever, but you can enjoy your fall by waiting.
So what's the deal?
There's kind of two reasons, actually. One is that it provides crucial habitats for all sorts of bugs, critters, small rodents, small amphibians, etc. Sure, it may also provide protection from some of the ones we hate, like ticks, but the ground cover also helps ones we do like, such as some moths and butterflies.
The other big reason is that it's absolutely awesome for your lawn. When we bought our current house a couple of years ago, the lawn was in pretty rough shape. Mostly out of laziness and being busy, I didn't rake leaves in the fall. But sure enough, just one season later, my lawn has looked amazing all summer. I also don't mow it very often, but that a whole other story....
The magic word is mulch.
All the decaying leaves under the snow, leach wonderful nutrients into the soil, feeding the lawn the whole time. If you just can't stand the sight of the leaves, you could also consider just mowing them. It's not quite as good as just leaving them, but will still provide a lot of food for your lawn.
Don't think about it too hard. Sure, there's a lot of beautiful science to back all this up, but the real takeaway here is that science is actually encouraging a small amount of laziness for a change. How often does that happen? Besides, it's not like your lawn needs to get a tan in the winter. You do. Skip the raking this year. Go to Florida. Enjoy.
These leaves look gorgeous before they hit the ground. Enjoy them this way better.
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