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Old 11-08-2023, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Idaho
1,224 posts, read 1,049,198 times
Reputation: 2663

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I blow mine into piles, bag them, and have the city haul them off (usually 10 - 15 bags). I'm in a northern desert and it's not wet enough to break them down, so next spring all the grass under a leaf will die. I've tried leaving the leaves, mulching them with a mower, etc., but it took several years to have a lawn again. I don't go for a perfect lawn, like some neighbors, just green enough to not be that "bad" person on the street.
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Old 11-08-2023, 01:59 PM
 
4,086 posts, read 2,391,904 times
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Unless one wants a golf course, there is no reason to rake leaves. As noted above, mulch and leave. They will decompose over the winter. The yard guy I hire for help brings leaves from other yards to my yard to mulch and blow in piles. I mix them in the garden sometimes and also with soil for containers. Add a touch of lime and it is great stuff.
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Old 11-08-2023, 04:02 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,121 posts, read 4,956,084 times
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Here's a nice, inclusive treatment of the subject on a site that maintains an enthusiastic but scientific respect for ecology without the emotional nonesense.

https://www.backyardecology.net/fall-cleanup/
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Old 11-09-2023, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
13,631 posts, read 12,253,936 times
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I mulch them with the mower. Hastens the decomp process. I don't want to kill the grass as I don't want any more dirt/mud in the yard than I have as the dogs bring it in.
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Old 11-09-2023, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
19,387 posts, read 22,327,208 times
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I don't have many leaves to rake, but a crap ton of pine needles. In the more open areas I run a big lawn sweeper, then dump them in a large pile in my back woods.

It's a part of fire mitigation for us. The areas I can't get with the lawn sweep we hand rake and put them in my tractor bucket and haul them to the pile. I do spread some of them into an approx 20x20 area near the house- my dogs tend to use that as a 'dump' station. When 'full' I rake it up and dump it into a seperate pile in the woods, grab a bucket or 5 of the 'clean' needles and replace their doody station. Works great for us- keeps the crap outta the gravel driveway.
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Old 11-09-2023, 03:36 PM
 
Location: The Woods
18,332 posts, read 26,360,529 times
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Around the house I rake them because they harbor mice which are a big problem in the country and when there's dry spells in the fall or spring they are a fire hazard (especially if an ember from the chimney lands on them as I burn wood). The orchard gets raked because the leaves harbor diseases from one year to the next (scab is a big one), along with the rodents being a problem. Raking those leaves cuts down on the spraying to a point.
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Old 11-09-2023, 07:13 PM
 
1,041 posts, read 566,198 times
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This is a very interesting and of course timely post.

We get quite a lot of leaves falling both on our front yard and pathways plus in our backyard.

Now I know that the maple tree leaves should be good to leave in our garden to break down and feed the earth, but what about all the darn pine needles falling off onto our garden soil? Aren't they acidic or something and naturally inhibit growth of other plants?

Anyhoo instead of bagging all those maple leaves this year I will just spread them all over our garden soil and see if any are left come Spring / Summer.
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Old 11-10-2023, 02:35 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,121 posts, read 4,956,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HodgePodge View Post
.... but what about all the darn pine needles falling off onto our garden soil? Aren't they acidic or something and naturally inhibit growth of other plants?
An old wives' tale...Fresh needles are slightly acidic, but the old, dry, brown ones that fall to the ground are not. https://www.gardenmyths.com/pine-needles-acidify-soil/ Pine needles do have some resins that inhibit growth of other plants, but it needs to be extracted and concentrated to be effective. The matting of needles left in place act as a physical barrier to plant growth. They break down much more slowly than deciduous tree leaves.

"Fire hazard"-- I hadn't thought of that...a consideration for those in high risk areas.

"Rodents"- Don't kid yourself- They are there whether or not you rake the leaves.
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Old 11-10-2023, 02:54 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,121 posts, read 4,956,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejisme View Post
.... I don't go for a perfect lawn, like some neighbors, just green enough to not be that "bad" person on the street.
I lived in a ritzy neighborhood for 10 yrs-- big, old, stately houses with parkways lined by mature trees. Everybody else had professional lawn care services that dutifully raked all the their leaves every fall....I didn't, but I had the only lawn on the block not covered with leaves-- The wind blew all my leaves onto their lawns, but with no leaves on other lawns, the wind had none to blow onto mine.
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Old 11-10-2023, 03:32 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Four Oaks
737 posts, read 388,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
I never rake leaves from the lawn. I have a mulching riding mower, and they get pulverized to become fertilizer. Right now I'm waiting for a dry day because the lawn ids getting high and has leaves on it, but the mulching process doesn't work well with wet grass & leaves. If the leaves are on the driveway I use the leaf blower to get them onto the lawn before mowing. We are also getting mushrooms on the lawn now.
I do the same Hemlock. They break down quicker and provide nutrients for my lawn. I always had a nice lawn, and like to keep it that way.

Mulching, including when I cut the lawn during the year, is a great way to return back your soil some great natural fertilizers.
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