If you are a homeowner in Georgia with deciduous (leaf producing) trees on your property, each fall and early-winter you’ll encounter leaf drop. During this time, you must decide whether to collect the leaves by picking them up, or mulch them down with your lawn mower. We recommend weighing the different factors before choosing what method will work best for your property.
Mulched Leaves Decompose Into Fertilizer
A top reason to why many will mow over their leaves to mulch them is because the shredded leaves will break down into a fine, powder-like dust which eventually decomposes into the soil. Tree leaves contain about two percent nitrogen (a vital nutrient for plants), and during the decomposition process it adds nitrogen to your soil which your lawn can feed on without having to spend money on fertilizer.
So when the leaves begin to fall, you should consider mulching the leaves on multiple occasions, especially if you have large trees as it will make the task easier to complete. If you are a DIYer, mulching at least once or twice per week as your schedule permits will be best. The smaller the leaves are, the easier they will break down into nutrients for the soil beneath your lawn. For best results, mulch the leaves in the afternoon on a sunny day so there is as little moisture as possible, this will make cleaning up your mower easier plus the leaves will shred into dust.
Finally, there are usually piles of leaves left on the top of your grass after mulching. These piles can choke out grass and are unsightly, be sure to use a leaf blower or rake to spread out the clumps and small piles of leaves that can be left behind when mulching leaves.
When Should You Remove Leaves?
The primary reason a homeowner would want to remove all their leaves is due to the sheer volume of leaves being so deep that your grass doesn’t receive adequate sunlight when it needs to be storing away energy before it goes dormant. This usually occurs when tall trees decide to drop their leaves all at once (or lack of weekly leaf mulching) thus leaving your lawn completely covered in leaves. It is best practice to mulch down the leaves, but if your grass is still covered will piles of mulched leaves afterwards – it may be beneficial to bag them up with your mower and then dispose of the excess leaves at a compost site.
Not All Leaf Mulch Is The Same
Some tree leaves are better than others when it comes to mulching. Maple and ash leaves can be troublesome for mower blades to break up compared to oak leaves, but maple and oak leaves have been found to help reduce the population of dandelions in your lawn. But most importantly, try to avoid mulching pine needles as they are acidic and can wreak havoc on your grass.
Once the amazing fall colors have run their course and your lawn is now covered in leaves, reach out to the pros at Proscapes & Tree for the best fall clean up and leaf removal services, serving Acworth, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Kennesaw and other areas of the northwest metro.