Removal vs. Mulching in Turf
As summer comes to an end, so does the tree growing season. As fall approaches, property managers are left with a decision to make. Should fallen leaves be mulched or removed? When it comes to leaf removal it may be tempting to wait until all the leaves have fallen; however, it is much better for the overall health of your lawn to remove them as soon as possible. Leaves can also cause safety issues as fallen leaves on pavements, parking lots, and patios can be slippery when wet and lead to accidents.
While both methods have their benefits, in most cases, mulching leaves is more cost-efficient than leaf removal. Mulching leaves can also act as a natural fertilizer and a beneficial organic matter, which will improve the overall health of the soil. Another benefit is water conservation, as leaf mulching helps retain moisture in the soil. Additionally, the leaf mulch lowers the soil’s exposure to the sun and wind, reducing evaporation. Leaf mulches also reduce weeds on a property, in turn reducing the amount of weeding or the need to use herbicides to maintain the property in the spring. A disadvantage to this method is that mulching diseased leaves can spread disease. Too many mulched leaves can starve your grass and plants of light and air and encourage pests.
Similarly, leaf removal also comes with advantages and disadvantages. One of the main benefits of leaf removal is that it promotes better growth. Cleaning up the leaves allows sunlight to get into the grass, helping with the overall growth. The downside of not removing fallen leaves is that the area will stay damp, leading to mold, fungus, and diseases that will damage your grass. The leaves remaining on a property can invite mosquitoes and other insects that will eat the roots of your grass, leading to several types of lawn disease. Overall, removal services in the fall will reduce the amount of time and save money on lawn services that may be needed in the spring.