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You don't need to rake your leaves. Experts explain why


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You don't need to rake your leaves. Experts explain why

Autumn is upon us, and that might mean the leaves in your yard are starting to change color and fall to the ground.

But if you were planning to add raking the yard and bagging up leaves to your weekend to-do list, think again. Experts say raking and removing leaves can be worse for your yard – and for the planet, too.

Leaving at least some of the leaves in your yard can help fertilize your grass and other plants, provide shelter for animals and even reduce emissions from landfills. Here's what you need to know about managing the leaves on your lawn this fall.
How can leaves help my yard?

Fallen leaves can serve as a natural fertilizer for plants, David Mizejewski, a naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation, explained to USA TODAY.

“The leaves fall around the root zone of these plants, where they do things like suppress weeds or other plants from growing that that would otherwise compete with the trees and the shrubs,” he said.

“They slowly break down and compost right there at the base of the of the tree of the shrub, right above its root zone, where they return nutrients that the plant can then recycle and reuse next spring,” he said.

Why shouldn’t I bag up leaves?

If you usually rake fallen leaves in your yard, put them in bags and then throw them away, you might want to think again this autumn.

According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2018, landfills received approximately 10.5 million tons of yard trimmings, which includes leaves.

Mizejewski explained that leaves and other organic matter sent to landfills can break down and form methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

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Anyone who guessed that they would somehow turn this into a saving the planet issue, you deserve a gold coin.

PS Contrary to what this article claims, the leaves often cover over important shrubs and lawns that will die if the leaves are left in place. Go look at the abandoned houses in Detroit to see how bad it gets.

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2 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

You don't need to rake your leaves. Experts explain why

Autumn is upon us, and that might mean the leaves in your yard are starting to change color and fall to the ground.

But if you were planning to add raking the yard and bagging up leaves to your weekend to-do list, think again. Experts say raking and removing leaves can be worse for your yard – and for the planet, too.

Leaving at least some of the leaves in your yard can help fertilize your grass and other plants, provide shelter for animals and even reduce emissions from landfills. Here's what you need to know about managing the leaves on your lawn this fall.
How can leaves help my yard?

Fallen leaves can serve as a natural fertilizer for plants, David Mizejewski, a naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation, explained to USA TODAY.

“The leaves fall around the root zone of these plants, where they do things like suppress weeds or other plants from growing that that would otherwise compete with the trees and the shrubs,” he said.

“They slowly break down and compost right there at the base of the of the tree of the shrub, right above its root zone, where they return nutrients that the plant can then recycle and reuse next spring,” he said.

Why shouldn’t I bag up leaves?

If you usually rake fallen leaves in your yard, put them in bags and then throw them away, you might want to think again this autumn.

According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2018, landfills received approximately 10.5 million tons of yard trimmings, which includes leaves.

Mizejewski explained that leaves and other organic matter sent to landfills can break down and form methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

********************************************

Anyone who guessed that they would somehow turn this into a saving the planet issue, you deserve a gold coin.

PS Contrary to what this article claims, the leaves often cover over important shrubs and lawns that will die if the leaves are left in place. Go look at the abandoned houses in Detroit to see how bad it gets.

SOURCE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!  Your comment is incorrect or misleading at best!

As usual MM did not read nor understand the article and jumped to a conclusion in order to attack a US government agency.  The article clearly states yards, NOT lawns or grass areas.   The yard in everything, to include trees, flower beds, paths, walks, shrubs, etc.  

If allowed to accumulate on grasses, they will kill the grass underneath.  However, if mulched into fine shred, they will not, but that is difficult to do for most mowers.   

So the article is correct  because it clearly refers to yards, shrubs, trees and flower beds.  I neither rake nor bag my leaves.  However, I do use riding lawn mower with bagging attachment to collect them and then spread them around flower beds, shrubs, trees, natural paths, etc.   Been doing this for over 30 years and never killed anything.  Just the reverse, protected them during winter and droughts and naturally fertilized them.

One of my pet peeves is people who bag grass clippings and leaves and place them on street for government to pick up.  Totally unnecessary.  For lawns, all reputable landscaping and state and university agriculture sources recommend recycling them onto the lawn to act as natural fertilizer.  Been doing that for over 30 years as well and have best looking lawn and yard in neighborhood.  Not my opinion, but everyone who has seen it.

So, bottom line:  the article is good, but MM's comment is incorrect as usual because it is misleading.  Surprised he did not try to directly blame Biden for this.

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For one...

When I first moved into this house, there was a huge bare area of very sparse grass in an area under the huge maple in the backyard.  Every time I'd run my mower over it(not being able to avoid it) I'd blow up a huge plume of dust.  The landlord said he tried seeding it and other remedies and nothing worked.  Well, I stopped raking the huge amount of leaves that would fall on the ground from that maple letting nature take it's course.  Within a year that bare spot became an area of rich, thick green grass.  Same with the front yard that gets a heavy coating of leaves from the maple  on the part of that property twixt the sidewalk and street.  See, 'round here, we do get snow in the winter, and during the spring thaw, the snow melts, gets the leaves soaked with water, turning the leaves into a quick rotting compost to topsoil.  And both my lawns(front and back) are thriving!  ;) 

And living in the Detroit area, I've had opportunity to see those lawns MM laments about in the yards of abandoned houses.  And there ARE NO LAWNS, mostly because those homes are ABANDONED (operative word here)  and the yards have become overrun by WEEDS  because there was nobody to CARE for the lawns.  Get it?  :rolleyes:  Falling leaves had NO-THING to do with ANY of it.

Sepiatone

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26 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

For one...

When I first moved into this house, there was a huge bare area of very sparse grass in an area under the huge maple in the backyard.  Every time I'd run my mower over it(not being able to avoid it) I'd blow up a huge plume of dust.  The landlord said he tried seeding it and other remedies and nothing worked.  Well, I stopped raking the huge amount of leaves that would fall on the ground from that maple letting nature take it's course.  Within a year that bare spot became an area of rich, thick green grass.  Same with the front yard that gets a heavy coating of leaves from the maple  on the part of that property twixt the sidewalk and street.  See, 'round here, we do get snow in the winter, and during the spring thaw, the snow melts, gets the leaves soaked with water, turning the leaves into a quick rotting compost to topsoil.  And both my lawns(front and back) are thriving!  ;) 

And living in the Detroit area, I've had opportunity to see those lawns MM laments about in the yards of abandoned houses.  And there ARE NO LAWNS, mostly because those homes are ABANDONED (operative word here)  and the yards have become overrun by WEEDS  because there was nobody to CARE for the lawns.  Get it?  :rolleyes:  Falling leaves had NO-THING to do with ANY of it.

Sepiatone

As with anything, depends where you live to some degree.  Around here, we seldom get snow and very little when we do.  

We have/had several large trees in our yard.  Most suck up hundreds of gallons of water daily.  Also, their roots extend far underground under grass and shrubs, so they are taking water away from them.   Their shade also adversely affects many types of lawn grasses.

As for grass growing where leaves have fallen, here again depends on the type grasses, as well as amount of leaves.  Grasses around here, such as Zoysia, St. Augustine, Fescue will die if leaves cover them.  I know as I have had all three types and that is what happens. Lawn grasses need some sunlight daily.  I have had spots as small as one foot square become covered with leaves and left.  Next Spring, the spot was dead under the leaves.

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3 minutes ago, Bogie56 said:

Unraked leaves can mean more mosquitos and deer flies the following year in some places.

Almost any standing water can mean more mosquitos - even an upturned Magnolia tree leaf around here can hold enough, long enough for them the breed. 

And then you have no-see-ums that can breed from the humidity in the air as you walk through it.😀

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4 hours ago, ElCid said:

The article clearly states yards, NOT lawns or grass areas.   The yard in everything, to include trees, flower beds, paths, walks, shrubs, etc.  

A yard will typically consist mostly of lawn or play area. The yard in front of a house is referred to as a front yard, the area at the rear is known as a backyard.

So yes, they are saying leave the leaves on the lawn, which is bad for the lawn. They should have said to use a mulching mower that chops them up and doesn't go into the landfill, instead they turned it into a save the Planet issue.Maybe they should hire 85 global warming scientists to confirm this.

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5 hours ago, ElCid said:

SOURCE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!  Your comment is incorrect or misleading at best!

As usual MM did not read nor understand the article and jumped to a conclusion in order to attack a US government agency.  The article clearly states yards, NOT lawns or grass areas.   The yard in everything, to include trees, flower beds, paths, walks, shrubs, etc.  

 

Many people out of habit (because it's easier to say) will use the word yard  front and back regardless of size or what it's used for.

Typical case..

http://reliable-remodeler.com/6-tips-for-beautiful-front-yard-landscaping/

0f572eaaf7a63bad14f8916aaaab7190.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

A yard will typically consist mostly of lawn or play area. The yard in front of a house is referred to as a front yard, the area at the rear is known as a backyard.

So yes, they are saying leave the leaves on the lawn, which is bad for the lawn. They should have said to use a mulching mower that chops them up and doesn't go into the landfill, instead they turned it into a save the Planet issue.Maybe they should hire 85 global warming scientists to confirm this.

Lawns and yards are NOT the same thing.  The yard is the entirety, except for house, paved areas, outbuildings and so forth.  While the yard includes the lawn, they are two distinct things.   

You clearly misinterpreted the "article" in your zeal to attack the government and do not wish to admit it.

What is the source of your post?

This is gist of your post.  Read it again.  The expert here does not say anything about grass or lawns, but rather shrubs, trees and plants.  Whoever wrote the article (unidentified by you STILL) threw in the part about "grass."

Regardless, you made a false assumption and then posted more misinformation about a subject or which you apparently know little or nothing.

10 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

Fallen leaves can serve as a natural fertilizer for plants, David Mizejewski, a naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation, explained to USA TODAY.

“The leaves fall around the root zone of these plants, where they do things like suppress weeds or other plants from growing that that would otherwise compete with the trees and the shrubs,” he said.

“They slowly break down and compost right there at the base of the of the tree of [or] the shrub, right above its root zone, where they return nutrients that the plant can then recycle and reuse next spring,” he said.

 

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2 hours ago, hamradio said:

Many people out of habit (because it's easier to say) will use the word yard  front and back regardless of size or what it's used for.

Typical case..

http://reliable-remodeler.com/6-tips-for-beautiful-front-yard-landscaping/

0f572eaaf7a63bad14f8916aaaab7190.jpg

 

Most people do not use phrase such as front lawn, because that is a part of the front yard.  The above shows a grass lawn, flower border, plants, shrubs and trees.

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8 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

personally I would let fallen leaves lay. if it's good enough for forests it is good enough for us.

let liberal politicians clean em up.

:)

 

Doesn't Donald Trump want you to get out there and rake all of the forests clean?  You are being a naughty boot licking foot soldier.

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