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Don’t Rake Those Leaves, Mulch Them Instead

Raking leaves is a time-honored tradition in Michigan that we are all too familiar with. But here’s an idea instead of raking leaves, stuffing them into lawn bags and hauling the bags to the curb, why not turn the leaves into mulch with a mower.

Why mulching works

Micro-organisms that live in the soil beak down organic material such as leaves. Worms get in on the action, too. The roots of some grasses such as fescue can grow slowly in the fall and a mild winter and the decaying action of mulched leaves left on the yard will provide these roots with nutrients. Mulched leaves will biodegrade and disappear from the lawn by spring. The same type of activity with micro-organisms and worms that is happening in the lawn area is also happening in landscape and vegetable beds.


Shredding leaves with a mulching mower will save homeowners time and money. Mulching is faster and far easier on the back than raking. It’s also easier on the wallet. The decomposing leaves and grass cover the soil between the individual grass plants where weeds can germinate. Michigan State University studies found that property managers can attain a nearly 100 percent decrease in dandelions and crabgrass after mulching fall leaves for just three years. In addition to reducing the occurrence of weeds and the need to spend money on weed control products, mulched leaves keep the soil warmer in winter and cooler in summer and the nutrients provided by mulching reduce the amount and expense of fertilizer need to achieve green-up in the spring.

So if you want a recipe for a luscious lawn yet want to be “green,” bag your rake not your leaves.

For any questions regarding autumn tips for your property’s landscape please do not hesitate to contact Continuum Services at 248.286.5200 or info@continuumservices.com.