Save your back…mulch the leaves

Leaves can create a barrier over the lawn which traps moisture, inhibits sunlight and harbors insects and diseases that can kill even the healthiest grass. The good news is you don’t have to rake them! Leaves can be mulched (finely chopped) regularly throughout fall to avoid lawn damage. You can mulch leaves with any type of lawn mower, although it might take a few passes to do the job well.

No matter what type of mower you have, set the blade to its highest setting and remove the bag that collects clippings. Aim to cut the leaves into shreds that are about the size of a dime. As the mulched leaves decompose, they enhance the soil with valuable nutrients that feed the microbes and other soil life. If you have an overabundance of leaves, you may still need to do some racking.

Avoid a Damaged Lawn

Put away any heavy items you may have put on your lawn during the summer (seasonal decorations, lawn furniture, kid’s toys, etc.) to prevent impact damage. Do not drive on the lawn. Try to minimize foot traffic after a freeze to minimize damage to the grass plant.