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to rake or not to rake, and how often?  RSS feed

 
                    
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Well, now autumn is arriving, and we have many trees.  What do you suggest about raking?  Is it good to rake frequently, infrequently, or not at all.  On one hand, I would think it would be good to just leave the leaves there to decompose by springtime.  On the other hand, I've heard (from non-organic gardeners) that its good to rake because you're then removing any dead grass, etc.  On the first hand again, I do like the way leaves look, and raking isn't exactly fun...  but, again, on the second hand, i guess i don't want them blowing around all season either.  What to do?
 
paul wheaton
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If the tree can smother the grass underneath it, it will have a better chance of out competing it.  On the other hand, the leaves will improve the soil in many ways.

If your trees are small or if your tree doesn't generate a lot of leaves, you can run a mulching mower over the leaves.  The pulverized leaves will feed the grass and the tree. 

If you have a LOT of leaves, the mulch can end up so thick that is can kill your lawn (and make your tree happy).  In this case, you probably want to rake a lot of the leaves.  These leaves are great for mulching gardens, shrubs, etc.  They are also great in your compost pile.


 
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