Rake First, Mulch Second

Here in the greater metro area of the Twin Cities, we are in what I like to call the dreaded pre-winter. Gone are the days of the pretty fall leaves and we no longer have a nice blanket of white snow to change the scape into a wonderland reflecting Christmas lights. And without that snow, I realized that there are still small piles of leaves scattered around my yard. Even though I had put my lawnmower away for the season, I pulled it back out to mulch over the leaves yet again. You may be wondering why I chose to mulch again even though the grass already seems dormant for the season. Answer: it’s because the broken down leaves are great for the soil, helping my grass for the spring!

I am not a huge fan of raking because it seems like more of a workout than running a half marathon, but it is good to get a large bulk of leaves up in the fall. Especially if you have a large number of mature trees in your neighborhood. If you let them sit all winter, you will have number dead spots of grass in your yard, as well as a moldy, wet leaves that are the biggest pain to clean up. Then later, when another big gust of wind takes the leftover leaves and places them directly into your freshly raked lawn, it is best to mulch them. Less work for you, and better for your lawn. Seems like a win-win to me!

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