What Happens to Your Lawn When You Don’t Rake Fall Leaves

By TruGreen May 12, 2023
fall leaves on a lawn

As the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, some of us may put off lawn maintenance and upkeep, such as raking fallen leaves. Generally, leaves that have fallen onto your lawn cause no harm. However, in some cases, leaves can potentially harm your lawn if left for long periods – causing long-term damage. 

This is why raking leaves or mulching them into your lawn could be more important than you might think. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of leaf raking or mulching and why or when it may be essential for lawn health.

Why do we rake leaves, and what may happen to your lawn if you don’t rake leaves?

You can reap many rewards from raking leaves from your lawn, which is why it’s so common during the fall season. Not only will your yard look nicer but raking fallen leaves can provide many benefits to your lawn health. 

Here are just some of the benefits to picking up leaves in your yard:

  • Prevents diseases from growing and damaging lawn health
  • Allows sunlight and rain to easily access your lawn
  • Improves air circulation, helping your lawn to breathe
  • Fallen leaves can be composted and recycled back into your lawn, flowerbeds, or garden. 
  • Exercise and fresh air for your own health!

But what happens if you don’t rake your leaves? If you leave your fallen leaves to lie around for a long time, this can be harmful in many ways. Here are just some of the potential implications if you don’t rake the leaves on your lawn:

  • Create a fungal disease on your lawn
  • Block oxygen and sunlight from your lawn
  • Cause a slip hazard
  • Attract unwanted wildlife 

When can you let leaves lie on your lawn?

In most cases it is okay to let leaves lie on your lawn if managed properly.  The amount of leaf coverage on your lawn may determine if leaves should be raked or mulched.  If the leaves do not densely cover your lawn, leaving leaves on your grass can pose some benefits if they are mulched properly into your lawn. Mulching leaves and integrating them back into the soil is a great way to nourish your lawn while also supporting the environment.

When should you rake and compost leaves?

Fall brings in the majority of fallen leaves, and it is also the best time of year to begin a raking regime. It’s best to rake leaves while they are dry and before the frost and snow begins. Many individuals like to keep up with leaf maintenance by raking or mulching them as they fall, while others may wait until all the leaves have fallen to the ground before raking. However, it is advisable not to let piles of leaves gather in high volume as this can affect your lawn’s health. In this instance it is recommended to remove the densely piled leaves and practice an environmentally friendly practice such as mulching and composting. Ultimately, to make raking or mulching leaves easier, it is best to wait until they are dry.

Is it bad to rake leaves?

Raking leaves is not bad; it’s what you do with the leaves that matters. It’s not advised to bag leaves and throw them out with the garbage once you’ve collected them as this creates unnecessary landfill waste. Secondly, it’s also not advisable to burn your leaves as this can be a safety and environmental hazard and become a nuisance to those around you, including wildlife. 

The best way to dispose of raked leaves and use them to your advantage

The best course of action to take with your fallen leaves is mulching and composting. This will not only help your overall lawn health in the long-term but also provide environmental benefits. 

Dry and chopped-up leaves make for great mulch. Once they are dry, use a lawn mower to chop them into small pieces. Dried leaves as mulch break down more quickly and shred easily. When mowed properly, leaves and grass clippings add nutrients to the lawn, improve the soil, and save time, money, and the environment. 

Similarly, composting is also a great way to use fallen leaves to your advantage. It is a fantastic method to decrease waste, enrich soil, and help grow plants and healthy lawns. Composting leaves and grass is one of the best things you can do for your lawn. 

To learn more about how to compost your leaves into a fertilizer for the Spring season, visit our step-by-step composting guide

Fall in love with your lawn again with our tailored solutions to suit all your lawn care needs – all backed up with science-driven expertise. Whether you need a quote, have questions about your lawn, or require more information on raking leaves, get in touch with us today on 1-844-567-9579.


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