Fallen Leaves – Forlorn Lawn

As Autumn starts to set in for real, we will no doubt start “oohing” and “ahhing” about the all pretty colours,  as Dick points out so eruditely yesterday in his blog on Wheeled Leaf Sweepers. Almost as though falling leaves are the natural precursors to the fireworks that we love so much on November the Fifth.

But before we all start writing poetry (you know who you are, Holly) praising the cacophony of gold, red and brown that falls on us from the trees and droning on about mellow fruitfulness, let’s think about what this means.

Because, as Dick also points out, letting those fallen leaves sit on your lawn is a very bad idea. Especially if you actually like your lawn. And why? Surely they can do no harm? Surely they will just break down and provide mulch? Well, sorry no.

Ignoring that pile or carpet of leaves on your lawn is not a good idea. There are hidden dangers that may inexperienced gardeners don’t think of. Apart from the obvious slip hazard created by wet leaves (because it will rain people, trust me), there are a number of good reasons to clear those leaves up right now.

As they break down, dead and dying leaves can harbour pests, encourage fungus and insects that can do some real mischief to your precious lawn.

Conditions such as Brown Patch, which can be caused by something called Rhizoctinia solani, a pathogen that, as the name suggests, creates brown or faded patches of grass. Now you don’t want that ruining your stripy outdoor carpet.

Fallen leaves can also carry fungi (no I’m not doing the joke) like anthracnose, that affects plane trees or American sycamores, that can harm your grass. They can also attract worms, causing worm casts but, even worse, attracting moles and creating serious problems for your lawn.

Ah...hello Mr Mole.
Ah sweet, hello Mr Mole…

 

 

 

...not so cute now is he?
…not so cute now is he?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only that, leaving decomposing leaves on your lawn means they are blocking sunlight, which stops photosynthesis and prevents the lawn feeding. And the leaves can steal the precious water, absorbing it and preventing it from getting to the grass whilst at the same time creating a breeding ground for other pests.

You lawn could fade and could actually rot under a thick blanket of leaves, as they can prevent the circulation of air.

They can encourage moss which does well in damp and shaded places and can choke your lawn.

So all in all, not a good thing! I think I may have made that clear now.

And remember, it’s harder to shift wet leaves so the sooner you clear them away after they fall, the better. And, as long as they are not diseased, you can use them as mulch on your soil beds.

So take action. Whether its a decent hand propelled leaf blower like the Redback 40v Cordless

Redback Cordless Leaf Blower
Quiet, petrol matching power: Redback Cordless Leaf Blower

…a wheeled Sweeper like the Agri FAb 26″ Push Lawn and Leaf Sweeper

Agri-Fab leaf sweeper
Beats the Rake: Agri-Fab 26in leaf sweeper

 

or a mighty powered lawn vacuum like the awesome LB352 ‘Little Billy’…

Billy Goat Little Billy
Feed the Goat: Billy Goat Little Billy

as long as you get out there and clear them, your lawn should survive the coming winter. Of course, there are other jobs to do but, first things first, clear those leaves.

Enjoy your garden.   Drew Hardy.

 

 

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