Page 14 - NOV2022
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Page 14 NEWFOUNDLAKELIFE.COM November 2022
 Various chores are synonymous with certain times of year. For example, clean- ing a pool is a summertime task. In ad- dition, rare is the instance that Mother Nature forces anyone to break out the snow shovels outside of winter. Raking leaves has long been a task for fall after- noons, but homeowners may be surprised to learn that they might be better off put- ting their rakes in permanent mothballs.
In the 1990s, turfgrass specialists at Michigan State University began ex- ploring the potential benefits of leaving mulched leaves on a lawn instead of rak- ing them and leaving them for curbside pickup. While the researchers noticed an obvious leaf residue on the lawn after mulching, they noted that it only sticks around for a few days. Eventually, the tiny pieces sifted down into the lawn, ul- timately serving to control future weed growth while also providing the lawn with essential nutrients. Over time, research- ers noted that homeowners who mulched
rather than raked their leaves needed less fertilizer to give their lawns a green look in spring, saving homeowners the effort and cost associated with fertilizing.
Researchers also noted that decompos- ing pieces of leaves cover up bare spots between turf plants, which have tradition- ally proven to be excellent spots for weed seeds to germinate. In fact, MSU notes that homeowners can expect a nearly 100 percent decrease in dandelions and crab- grass after mulching leaves for just three years.
Depending on the type of mower being used, up to six inches of leaves can be mulched at a time. Push mowers can handle smaller amounts, though can still be as effective as ride-on mowers.
Fall may be synonymous with raking leaves. However, homeowners who want to give their lawns a healthy boost should consider putting their rakes away and mulching their leaves this fall.
How Mulched Leaves Help Your Lawn
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