Considering your Needs: Hire a Professional or DIY?
There’s something magical about watching leaves change color and lazily float to the ground each fall. But for many homeowners, the sight of a leaf-strewn lawn is just another “to-do” on their home maintenance list.
Should I Remove the Leaves from my Lawn?
Leaves are a part of nature, and many homeowners advocate keeping their fallen leaves as a way to return nutrients to the soil. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the advocates for multiple leaf removals throughout the season to keep lawns looking clean and maintained. Take the time to weight the pros and cons of each to determine which approach is right for you.
Pros of Leaves:
- Decaying leaves return nutrients to the soil, making them available for uptake by turf grasses and other plantings
- Layers of leaf litter provide a natural habitat for many wildlife species, including the pupae of several beneficial butterflies and moths
Cons of Leaves:
- Leaving excess leaves on the ground can smother the grass, damaging your lawn and making it necessary to overseed in spring to recover
- Decaying leaves trap moisture, creating an ideal environment for fungi, bacteria, and several winter turf diseases
- Leaves rarely stay put – if your neighbors are working hard to keep their lawns clear, they won’t thank you for leaving leaves to blow around and add to their workload!
Benefits of Hiring Help
Fall is a busy time for many people, and homeowners may not have an extra Saturday or two (or six) to spend removing fallen leaves from the lawn. For older homeowners, the concern may be health rather than time; spending a day raking, bagging, and removing leaves can be an exhaustive strain on the body. Instead of doing the work yourself, you may want to consider hiring a professional company to handle your leaf removal.
Removal is Fast!
Landscape companies offering leaf removal have the equipment and staff necessary to remove leaves quickly and efficiently. This can come in especially handy for holiday hosts who are crunched for time.
Waste isn’t a Hassle
Do you cringe at the thought of bagging and dragging your leaves? Many leaf removal services include waste removal in some form or another. Here at Tehandón Landscapes and trees, we work with clients to meet their unique removal needs. For some, it’s a matter of timing their leaf clean-ups with existing municipal service pick-ups. For others, we tarp or blow the leaves into wooded areas on the client property where the waste will biodegrade naturally over time, providing nutrients and promoting a biologically diverse ecosystem. For clients needing a quick, total removal, we use our powerful debris loader to vacuum up large leaf piles in minutes. Talk with your service provider to discover what options are available (and best) for you.
What happens to my leaves?
We can’t speak for all service providers, but we can tell you about us:
Many of our clients are joining the ranks of the environmentally conscious – and we think that’s great! Over the course of a single fall season, we remove hundreds of pounds of leaves from client properties. Rather than burning or dumping, we take your waste to local farms and composting facilities; promoting environmentally friendly practices with low carbon footprints.
Over the years our client’s yard waste has been used to enrich the soil at a number of local farms, providing much needed nutrients for trees, grains, and organic vegetable crops. We’ve also taken the waste to commercial composting facilities in our area that specialize in turning yard waste into high quality, organic composts and mulches that are then brought back into the community. Tehandón Landscapes and Trees is proud to promote sustainable practices that benefit our community.
Keeping your Leaves
Many homeowners ask: “Do I really need to remove my leaves?”
Ultimately it’s up to the individual to decide, but we strongly recommend that clients clear away fallen leaves any time more than 10-15% of the grass is covered. Otherwise, homeowners risk smothering their turf as fallen leaves trap moisture and block sunlight, creating an ideal environment for winter turf diseases and pests to move in.
To make the most of your leaves, consider mulching them into your lawn. Many modern mowers come with a mulching setting that’s designed to cut grass and leaves into smaller pieces (dime sized is ideal). Over time, the mulched leaves settle and are broken down by microbes and earthworms in the soil, releasing nutrients that can then be absorbed by lawn and landscape plants.
Food for thought: For homeowners desiring to use an older model lawnmower that lacks a mulching setting, many hardware and home improvement stores sell mulching blades that can be swapped in. Prices will vary, so shop around!
Have comments, questions, or concerns? Stop by our Facebook page and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!