Autumn is officially upon us and as any hiker or photographer knows, the outdoors in autumn is all about leaves! With the help of our friends at SoilKeepers and the Rapidan Valley Area Wildlife Habitat Cooperative, we thought we'd take a closer look at leaves and how you can use them to your advantage to make your lawn ready for winter.
When it comes to dealing with fallen leaves in your yard, make it easy on yourself and leave the rake and leaf blower in the shed. Instead, use your lawn mower and chop the leaves up using the highest setting. Not only will the leaves provide excellent nitrogen and organic matter that your winter season grass will love, the lawn mower will also cut some of the tops off remaining weeds like ground ivy, providing more critical light for your grass.
While the sunlight provided by chopping up your leaves is beneficial to your grass shoot, it'll also increase your soil temperature, benefiting its roots. Soil temperatures (1-4 inches deep) in the low to mid-50s are perfect for fescue leaf and root growth, but when soil temperatures drop below 50, most grass leaf growth will stop.
So, make autumn easier on yourself and your lawn, chop up your leaves and give your grass what it needs, nutrients and sunlight!