How Autumn Foliage Can Damage Your Lawn

Keeping your lawn looking perfect throughout the year can be a challenge, and not just during the hot summer months. Autumn too has its share of issues, mostly stemming from all the fallen leaves. In this blog, we break down three potential problems you'll face as foliage makes its final descent, so that you can avoid them from here on out!


1. TOO MUCH SHADE

When leaves pile up, sunlight is no longer able to reach the green grass below. While the beautiful autumn colors may look stunning at first, they can actually lead to a decline in the health of your yard. The reason for this is simple: leaves block sunlight and grass needs sunlight in order to thrive. In the same way that a large tree can be an issue when its branches prevent light from reaching your lawn, leaves piling up can act like a blanket that ultimately leads to brown spots or stunted growth.

Lack of a good clean-up regimen can lead to a build up of leaves and debris that leave your lawn patchy like this one! 

Lack of a good clean-up regimen can lead to a build up of leaves and debris that leave your lawn patchy like this one! 

2. FUNGUS OR DISEASE

A lack of sunlight can prevent the first layers of leaves and the grass underneath from drying, leading to an increased risk of mold, disease and fungus that may harm your lawn. Identifying the exact issue at this point can be difficult, and is often best left to the professionals. But some simple knowledge of biotic and abiotic stressors could certainly help...

3. FIRE HAZARD!

If the fall season is especially dry, leaves can be a real fire hazard as well. We're not sure it's really necessary to explain how your lawn might end up afterward. But use your imagination; it's not a pretty sight. 


So What Do You Do? 

In the industry, we refer to the process of removing leaves and debris from your lawn as a "clean-up." At Terren, we perform these each spring and fall, with some properties requesting five or more before winter! 

You can do it the old-fashioned way if you choose, with a rake and some trash bags full of leaves. But most people find the time and energy spent raking is better spent elsewhere, and that despite their best efforts, the end result is always better when the professionals do it. 

Whether you choose to hire a landscaper or do it yourself, the important thing is that it gets done, as the more time that goes by, the more problems you'll have with your lawn, and the harder it will be to get those pesky leaves out of the picture!

green-leaf-cleanup.jpg

Bonus Question:

 

Can you mow leaves and leave them as mulch for your lawn?

A common misconception about fall lawn care is that it is better to chop leaves up and leave them than take them away completely. While the nutrients in mulched leaf material can be beneficial, the amount left on your lawn in the fall would far exceed the ideal quantity, meaning the benefits of added nutrients will be outweighed by the issues we've just listed above!