Illinois, Save Your Time. You Are Raking Your Leaves Wrong.
Every fall we see the leaves change color. We see them fall. We rake. And they fall more, and we rake. And the wind blows all the neighbor's leaves in the yard, and we rake.
Is there a better way for people in the Quad Cities to stop breaking their back every weekend? The experts say yes there is.
Illinois Wants Green Yards All Summer
You spent all summer keeping your lawn green and pristine. Or at least you kept it from completely dying. Now all those pesky leaves are covering your lawn. What should you do to show off your lawn in the fall and get it ready for next spring?
You have some options.
The University of Minnesota says you can either rake them up with a rake or blower. Use the bagging attachment on your mower. Or...
The Best Way To "Rake" Your Leaves In Illinois
Mulch the leaves. That's right. Drop the rake and start that mower one more time. You'll save your back and the bags and the bag fees.
The turfgrass science department says:
The nutrients and organic matter will benefit the lawn and soil. Some leaf types have been shown to reduce weed seed germination when mulched into a lawn canopy (maples, others). The leaves of some particular tree species (legumes like honey locust, others) might actually add a significant amount of nitrogen to lawns because these species fix nitrogen from the atmosphere just like soybeans, so higher leaf nitrogen contents in these leaves is possible.
While mulching the leaves is ideal, you can even skip that step and just let them lay where they are.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says you can save time, your back, and gas money by not even firing up the lawn mower. Just let the leaves stay where they are.
While your neighbors that are picking up every leaf in their yard this fall, and then dumping chemicals on it in the spring to help it grow may not like that when the wind carries your leaves to their yard, it will actually be helping them out.
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