Raking seems like a lot of work to just move compost material from where it will do some good to a container somewhere else on your property. In a few months you will haul that material out of the container and add it back to where you found it. Sure, it makes your home look neat and clean, and raking leaves can be considered good exercise, but is it necessary?

The Evils of Not Raking

There are warnings on sites all over the Internet that leaves left on your grass will kill it by starving it of sunlight.

Master gardener Jennifer Beaver from Long Beach, California said, “Actually, I don’t think keeping the leaves in place will do any harm. They will essentially mulch the grass. They will smother the top layer of grass but the soil will get added nutrients from the decomposing leaves and will eventually be healthier for it.”

Leaving the leaves sort of cuts out the middleman and adds the “brown” component of nitrogen to your soil.

“So short term, no green grass; long term, healthier soil,” Beaver said.

Keep in mind, this is based on maybe a few medium-sized trees. If you have a forest of big trees for a backyard, then you’ll probably need to rake. Your fallen leaves will just be too many to help your lawn.

Mowing for Sowing

If allowing your lush blades of green grass turn brown makes you uncomfortable, you can create a win-win situation. Leave the leaves and mow. You will chop the leaves into smaller pieces and help them to decompose. Leave them on your grass to help mulch your grass.

If you live where it snows, a layer of leaves under the snow will create a layer of insulation until next spring.

If you decide to put the brakes on the rake, cut back your watering schedule. Adding water will create a breeding ground for mold and other problems. In the end, raking is good, but not raking isn’t the worst thing you can do.