Lawn Care - Knowledgebase Question

North Smithfield, Rh
Question by ard899
October 28, 2009
I have heard commercials state that I should mulch my leaves and leave them to de-compose on the lawn over the winter.I have mostly oak leaves, I have been told that oak leaves should not be left on the lawn because they are too acidic for the lawn. What is your opinion?

Answer from NGA
October 28, 2009


Let's see if we can solve this dilema! It's true that if you run over leaves on your lawn your mower will cut them into small bits and as these bits decompose they can provide nutrients to your lawn. However, if the leaves are thick, the mower may not cut them into small enough pieces for them to decompose rapidly and you may end up with a thick layer that might suffocate your lawn by blocking sunlight, repelling water (or rainfall) and turning the lawn into mush over the winter months. It's also true that oak leaves are acidic - and they are thick so they decompose very slowly, which can add to the potential for suffocation of the lawn. I'd rake the oak leaves first, then mow the lawn low. You can stockpile the oak leaves and allow them to decompose, then add the resulting compost to your soil or use it as an organic mulch material, or you can rake and bag the leaves. Hope this information provides some guidance!

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