Ask NJ Landscaping Pros About Converting Fallen Leaves to Plant Food

July 31st, 2014 | By: Mitchell Knapp | Blog

Fall is coming soon. Sadly, this also means getting out and grabbing a rake. This year, however, experts suggest grabbing a lawnmower instead.


In an interview with CBS Minnesota, Turf grass specialist Sam Bauer of the University of Minnesota Extension says grinding fallen leaves is beneficial for the grass. Like chewing your food before you swallow, mowing the leaves breaks them down into mulch sizes, allowing the soil to absorb their nutrients faster. The result is healthier, greener grass come spring.


Normally, this is a job for a mulcher, which is powerful enough to grind down even the thickest blanket of fallen leaves. However, Bauer says a lawnmower will do as long as the leaves have been spread out evenly.


Inherited Properties


According to gardening expert and author Sydney Eddison, fallen leaves carry up to 80 percent of essential nutrients for plants. It would definitely be a waste if they’ll simply end up in sacks, as part of the garbage. Some leaves have unique properties that, when turned to mulch, can help nourish and protect plants and grasses. Maple leaves, for example, are known to prevent the growth of weeds.


Control the Amount


If you think there are too many leaves for the lawnmower, remember to rake the excess. A thick blanket of leaf mulch can prevent moisture from seeping, denying the lawn of much-needed nutrients. It can also trap excess moisture, providing a breeding ground for fungi. Leave enough leaves for the lawn mulch and dump the rest on a backyard compost pile.


The more plants you plan to add in your garden, the more mulch you’ll need. Contact NJ landscaping services like Scenic Landscaping for a site design consultation, especially with drainage. Considering the possible use of mulch, the design must allow the shedding of excess water so that the plants don’t get inundated.


Landscapers may recommend drains close to plant areas, but the soil will be the landscape’s primary drainage system. It’s imperative that the soil is neither too compact nor too lose for an ideal balance of water retention. According to the Cornell University Department of Horticulture, the ideal drain rate for soil is between 1 and 6 inches per hour.


Therefore, during the planning phase, take into account your mulching strategy. Don’t hesitate to ask an expert NJ landscaping company about what you can do when your yard gets covered in leaves. In fact, you can even ask them to take care of your lawn.


(Source: Good Question: Do We Need To Rake?, CBS Minnesota)


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