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posted
how often can I mow leaves into mulch on my lawn. I've already done it twice and they are just begining to fall. mowing beats raking and bagging
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: Oct 20, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That would depend on a lot of factors, especially how heavy your leaf fall is.

You can mow over them and put them into your flower beds...they make a great mulch there or veggie beds.


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4993 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
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Absolutely it beats raking!!!

We have different species of trees in our neighborhood. Our Ash trees dump their leaves all at once. We use a good Honda mulching mower and run over them. When there is a LOT of leaves, we then switch to bagging the mulched ones, but it sure takes less time than raking/packing.
Our red oaks (common in the neighborhood) are more gradual and we often mulch over them biweekly mowings in a 3 week period or as needed, and finally go over and bag the mulched stuff if it accumulates too heavily. Unfortunately our oak trees tend to hold a good portion of their leaves till early spring. We don't put the lawn mower to bed, till the snow blower is needed.

If you don't have really large trees or a lot of neighbors leaves to add to those in your yard, you may get by mulching all the time. Win, win!
 
Posts: 9663 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You can mulch those leaves into the lawn as long as they keep falling, there is no limit. I have mulch mowed a layer of leaves 8 inches thick into the lawn at one time (took a while) with only good results. About a week after doing that there were worm castings all over the area and about 3 weeks after you could not see any evidence that those leaves were mulch mowed there.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8183 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Our lawn care man told me years ago not to shred too many leaves into the grass. Repeated heavy shredding will accumulate acid.
We use the tractor bagging system and store leaves in a bin for composting next year, for landscaping around the foundation (helping to keep the soil temp even); some will be mowed and shredded into the lawn.
We have many very tall trees, hedge rows, garden. So we can use the leaves. I should mention that the veg. garden area gets a goodly supply of mowed leaves, too.
So, in sum, I'd suggest you mulch some leaves into windrows, rake them, use them elsewhere.
 
Posts: 5949 | Location: western PA | Registered: Sep 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Our lawn care man told me years ago not to shred too many leaves into the grass. Repeated heavy shredding will accumulate acid.

A myth that has been debunked by research. Dr. Abigail Maynard at the New Have Agricultural Research Station, New Haven Connecticut, found that working Oak leaves or pine needles into the soil did not significantly affect soil pH.
Compost made from those leaves will have a pH of about 6.8, near neutral, even though the pH of those leaves started out between 3.0 and 4.0.
It makes no sense to rake the leaves up and put them on the garden as mulch if it is not okay to mulch mow them into the turf.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8183 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ive always mulched mowed my leaves.Never understood why people rake theirs when they can mow them.I still see people who love to burn thiers which has the be the dumbest move.It smokes up the neighborhood and its killing our atmosphere,plus the risk of a fire getting out of hand.Mulching your leaves over your grass is the same as top dressing it.You are making your soil alot better which means a healther lawn.

I would suggest doing it after some rain.Doing it whens its dry creates alot of dust


 
Posts: 253 | Location: North Georgia | Registered: Jul 25, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by UGA Dawgs:
Ive always mulched mowed my leaves.Never understood why people rake theirs when they can mow them.


I don't mulch mine directly back into the lawn. I've tried it in the past and ended up with a 3-4" thick layer of mulched leaves sitting on top of the turf. That would just result in killing the entire lawn over the course of the winter instead of feeding it.

I do have significantly more leaves than the average homeowner has to deal with (a 2 acre lawn surrounded on all 4 sides by 1,700 acres of hardwood forest).

If the mulched leaves aren't fine enough or there are so many of them that the mulch doesn't drop through the grass and starts sitting on top of the turf then you are doing more damage to the lawn then providing benefit. In those cases, it's better to rake or bag the leaves put them somewhere else to compost.
 
Posts: 46 | Location: United States | Registered: Apr 27, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Jim978:
quote:
Originally posted by UGA Dawgs:
Ive always mulched mowed my leaves.Never understood why people rake theirs when they can mow them.


I don't mulch mine directly back into the lawn. I've tried it in the past and ended up with a 3-4" thick layer of mulched leaves sitting on top of the turf. That would just result in killing the entire lawn over the course of the winter instead of feeding it.

I do have significantly more leaves than the average homeowner has to deal with (a 2 acre lawn surrounded on all 4 sides by 1,700 acres of hardwood forest).

If the mulched leaves aren't fine enough or there are so many of them that the mulch doesn't drop through the grass and starts sitting on top of the turf then you are doing more damage to the lawn then providing benefit. In those cases, it's better to rake or bag the leaves put them somewhere else to compost.


Sounds like you are letting them all fall at once then trying to mow.You need to do regular mowing as soon as the leaves start falling.I probaly mowed 3-4 times since they started falling and I have ALOT of big trees too.The first time usually stinks cause once you finish and have a nice clean yard but in a week it looks like you didnt do nothing.But the reward came after the 4th mow because 90 % of the leaves have fallen so the yard will stay looking good.

If I was you I would just make another pass in a week after it rains.Like someone else mentioned in this thread, mulched leaves compose rather quickly, especially after a rain.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: UGA Dawgs,


 
Posts: 253 | Location: North Georgia | Registered: Jul 25, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It really does depend on the local tree variety, size of trees and number of trees you have (and your adjacent neighbors have), as well as available open areas that are not streets, patios, driveways and houses.

We have large Ash street trees that turn gold, then dump all their leaves at once in about 3 days. Mulching works, but then there is a depth of shredded leaves 6 inches deep. Yes I go over and pick them up, because the neighbors Ginkos, Sycamores and Maples are soon to follow. Then our huge Red Oaks, as well as the neighbors red oaks. There are just too many trees and not enough open soil to handle all the mulched leaves in our neighborhood. (If we want a lawn to survive the winter, that is)

We just had our first snow, and the red oaks are maybe 1/4th bare. Have to wait till it gets warmer to mulch mow and pick up again. Last oak leaves won't come off the trees till April.

We use the mulched leaves as much as we can around the perimeter and under bushes. But there are just too many to save them all in this neighborhood.
 
Posts: 9663 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To keep them out of landfills, you might try free cycle or craigs list...for free.
A lot of veggie gardeners would love to have free mulch mowed leaves. I know I would if I lived in your area!


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4993 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Based on my experience when I have mulch mowed up to 8 inches of leaves, slowly and it takes some time to do, back into the turf they covered I have found that the earthworms will move those now shredded leaves into the soil in about 2 weeks. If this does not happen where you are then most likely your soil lacks adequate numbers of earthworms and other members of the Soil Food Web and those leaves would aid in creating an environment they could live in.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8183 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
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Guess we often just have different experiences.
One should do whatever works well for their local environment.
Mulch and reuse as much as you can is a good plan, of that I think we can agree.
 
Posts: 9663 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My experience with mulched red oak leaves has not been good. Unless the mulch is super fine the leaves will choke out the grass below. Oak leaves take a long time to disintegrate. Ours may not all fall until spring and when some fall on the lawn and get buried by snow they literally choke out the grass.
 
Posts: 3224 | Location: Ohio | Registered: Feb 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We have maple trees in our area. Some neighbors lost their leaves sooner than we lost our's. One neighbor told me that they were encouraged to put fertilizer spikes for their tree (not a maple). It did not drop leaves as quickly as in the past. We're still thinking this has something to do with it. ???

We mow and bag as we go. One neighbor had raked and we shared our bagger with her. She was thrilled how it kept the number of leaf bags down. She said they'll have to get one of these, too. It's nice when neighbors support each other in their efforts to improve the yards. There's always that fine line when you think someone is "being the bossy neighbor" telling you how it should be done.

It was suggested to wait until it rains to keep the dust down. Does this create MOLD on the leaves being bagged? We can't keep all that we mulch....Our community can "buy back" the mulch that has had time to compost. Unfortunately....we have been discovering "items" that should never have been in there. So, it's not an item we want to purchase any longer.
 
Posts: 5231 | Registered: Jan 23, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Keep in mind that by removing those tree leaves from your property you are throwing away a lot of valuable nutrients that could be used to feed your lawn or plants.
http://www.spectrumanalytic.co...Municipal_Leaves.htm


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8183 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Let's be realistic...I mean, when we say "too much"....we have to believe what we say....
TOO MUCH...is too much which implies it shouldn't be done.
Mulching leaves in the fall implies cutting it up into little pieces which falls between the blades of grass and makes it easy for worms to come up and take it down. That's good....IF
it happens.
If we say there's too much leaves on the lawn, then we are implying that maybe some of it should be removed so as to not kill the lawn....which it will do IF THERE'S TOO MUCH.

Trouble ensues when a heavy layer of leaves makes mowing practically impossible without going back and forth, back and forth in an attempt to get them to that little size.
Add to that...wet leaves often wont co-operate to go into the blades, they spit out and end up having to go over again and again.
Who has the time to do that when there's maybe a thousand or two square feet of lawn to cover.
Add to that what grass is often taken up.
That's the reason why its much better to raise the height of your mower---not so much grass will be taken up and more leaves will be sucked up.
Bagging of leaves is a great way to 'save' them for later use if one has a compost pile.
Even if not, bagging can take the place of a compost pile by adding material that will speed up the process in the bag.
Any way its done....removal of leaves in the fall is a must IF ITS TOO MUCH.
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: Mar 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is more a matter of perception then anything else. If one was raised to believe that removing leaves from a lawn is necessary and is not able to change the thought process to realize it is unnecessary then that person will always believe that.
I know a lot of people that hire someone to come in, rake up those leaves and haul them away. That person takes them someplace where those leaves are composted and then later sold back to the person that paid this "gardener" to remove in the first place. There are still people that think that you cannot mulch mow the lawn because that causes thatch.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8183 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by KimmSr:
This is more a matter of perception then anything else. If one was raised to believe that removing leaves from a lawn is necessary and is not able to change the thought process to realize it is unnecessary then that person will always believe that.
I know a lot of people that hire someone to come in, rake up those leaves and haul them away. That person takes them someplace where those leaves are composted and then later sold back to the person that paid this "gardener" to remove in the first place. There are still people that think that you cannot mulch mow the lawn because that causes thatch.


And it will likely cause thatch if they have filled their soils with CHEMICAL fertilizers, CHEMICAL weed killers, CHEMICAL insect killers...cause they will have destroyed their soil's food web and all those nifty little microbs that do all those same things for them...if they give them a chance.


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4993 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Synthetic is the word you should be using, Karen, since even organically acceptable products are "chemicals".
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/chemical


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8183 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have you noticed?
Poor OP Beverly has never again posted/responded.
We either scared, intimidated or just plain befuddled her with so many opinions and excess information.

She may have crawled under her huge pile of leaves and is hiding out till spring?Wink

(If you are still out there)...hang tough Beverly, we just all want to help so much, we get in each others way sometimes. Big Grin
 
Posts: 9663 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by KimmSr:
Synthetic is the word you should be using, Karen, since even organically acceptable products are "chemicals".
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/chemical


I'm pretty sure most reader's understood what I meant. If I mean "organic", I will say organic! Roll Eyes

Yes Conrad, we all do jump in each with our own experiences & knowledge.


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4993 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you, Jim.
I'll go with my professional lawn care expert's view on constant shredding into the grass.
Yes, it depends upon the tree type and maybe the grass type.

Recently I mowed the last remaining leaves.

Burning is decadent and we do have one burner in the area. Hard to breathe.

So, my final advice to the poster, do some of each: rake and dispose of, mow into the yard, shred and bag and use around foundation or store in bag (punch holes) and make leave mold for spring--wonderful stuff.
 
Posts: 5949 | Location: western PA | Registered: Sep 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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lol..dh barely got leaves off the grass and had a pile to crunch but we got snow! not much but everything was frozen...who likes it? the chipmonks who had made a home in the wood pile. they now have a warmer home...I think we have a bunny there, too...
 
Posts: 8559 | Location: se mi | Registered: Sep 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We still have a fourth of the leaves on one of our red oaks...same with many of the surrounding neighbor's oaks. Mulched all and Picked up some, cleaned the ones in the gutters out...then the COLD weather hit last week. Got 6+ inches of snow, and only single digit highs over most of the last few days.
Managed to run the gas out of the lawnmower, by starting it in the garage.
We are DONE with leaves till April! The bumper crop of acorns were "flying" when I ran the snow blower down the sidewalk. Hopefully any leaves will just blow on by all winter. Wink
 
Posts: 9663 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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