Raking. Raking. Raking. I would like to get a headstart on raking, but my Silver Maples don't drop their leaves til it gets cold. They finally started to fall this week, and now my yard is a disaster.  What did the world do without humans raking up leaves? Shouldn't I just leave it to mother nature? Who in the world said you HAD to rake up all these leaves? I mean..sure...if you have little kids that are going to enjoy the heck out of some old-fashioned jumping in a pile of leaves fun...then it can be fun...for a while anyway.  There comes a point where I start thinking that I'll be raking til spring. What's the deal? Do we really have to rake up all those leaves?

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Photo by Kelly Cordes
Photo by Kelly Cordes


The answer is yes....and no!

According to the experts at The University of Minnesota, You don't really have to rake up ALL the leaves that fall in your yard every year. However, it's really important that the leaves are not covering more than 20% of your yard.

Too much leaf coverage can smother your grass, and you'll find that it won't be able to grow in the spring. Having too much leaf coverage can also lead to a lot of damage to your yard from the little critters that live outside your house, like mice and voles. They would LOVE IT if you would leave them a nice ground cover to overwinter in.

Also, there's a thing called "Snow Mold" which can lead to a variety of diseases that you really don't want to bring upon your yard.

Jumping in Leaves
Getty Images, Zbynek Pospisil


Raking is the tried and true way of getting rid of dead leaves. You can also use a blower; but be sure that you aren't being a bad neighbor and blowing all the leaves into their yard. That's totally terrible. Don't be that person.

If you are lucky enough to have bagging attachment on your lawn mower, this can really help you out. It can help compost the leaf and grass mix, and make it easier to push over in to a field or woods, if you happen to live in such an area.

Lots of people like to mulch their leaves with a mower, because it chops the leaves into small pieces so they fall right into the yard, and leave the yard exposed. The nutrient and organic matter can then provide nutrients to your soil under the grass.

If you'd like more information about raking and how much or little you need to do, simply click HERE for more information.


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