Campus News

Avoid raking, move leaves with mower

Dealing with fallen leaves can be a burden. To avoid raking leaves, a lawn mower can be used instead.

It’s not necessary that the mower have a bag attachment. However, if you plan on making a compost pile with the leaves, a bag attachment makes it easier to gather the leaves, rather than raking them up by hand.

Operate the mower so that the leaves are being discharged toward the center of the lawn. Ideally, by the end, there will be one windrow, or row of cut leaves, in the middle of the lawn. Don’t try to mulch when the leaves are wet. Even a new blade will not pick up wet leaves that are matted to the ground.

As the leaves are cut, the volume will be reduced with each pass made, but one or more windrows will be blown to the center. If necessary, raise the lawn mower’s deck as high as it will go to run over the windrow. Keep running over the windrow and blowing the leaves back to the center over and over, until most pieces are reduced to dime-size or smaller. Once all of the pieces are this small, use the mower to spread them back out over a larger area.

With rainfall, the newly mulched leaves will melt away in just a few days and provide valuable nutrients and organic matter back to the soil.