Does your stomach think all potato is mashed?
Would humans fly if they could, or just think of it as exercise?
Why do ‘fat chance’ and ‘slim chance’ mean the same thing?
Are the Royal Family really lizards?
What is the point of raking the leaves off your lawn?
These are the question that flutter through our minds on a daily basis (admittedly, it’s usually before we’ve had a chance to slurp on any coffee). But while we’ve given up hope on ever answering 80% of them, we’ve managed to find the answer to one of them. Yes. The Royals are weird-lizard-people. No, we’re of course talking about the whole raking leaves off your lawn thing. Whether your parents were aware of this, we’re not in a position to say. They could have been using it as a sadistic punishment that just so happened to have some health benefits for your lawn for all we know.
But that is the point.
There are health benefits, which is why you need to stop spreading rumours about your rake-loving, leaf-blowing neighbours having a) OCD or b) too much time on their hands and start copying what they do instead. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous those big reddy-gold leaves may look strewn across your lawn, or how lazy-slash-hungover you may be feeling, you owe it to your lawn’s health to get the rake out, and here is why:
It’s A Matter Of Leaf Or Death
You’ve probably thought people who raked the leaves off their lawn twice a week were part of the saddest clique in history. However, this is one of the biggest misconceptions in all of lawn care. The truth is, ridding your lawn of leaves is about the health of your grass. By allowing all those pretty leaves to create an autumnal carpet, what you are doing is suffocating your grass, encouraging pests and disease to come and wreak havoc, preventing water-slash-air-slash-nutrients from getting to the roots and possibly even stopping new shoots from getting through. We know right, it’s bad, and yet, rather unfortunately, it’s only a scratch on the surface of this misery.
You’re Rocking Cool-Weather Grass
For those that have never heard of “cool-weather grass” (which is something to be proud of), this term refers to grass that really loves growing when the temperature drops a bit, such as autumn. So long as your lawn gets enough sunlight, water, nutrients and care, your grass likes to use this time of the year to sort of rejuvenate and renovate itself. The temperature isn’t too hot and the ground hasn’t quite frozen, which makes it the perfect time for your lawn to trip the light fantastic and start strengthening its root system. That’s the parade your thick rug of leaves is trying to rain on. It’s trying to stop your grass from making hay (read: growing). To put it simply, a blanket of leaves will stop the sun getting through, and that is your lawns main source of nutrients. So if you notice your garden has become forty percent fallen leaves, then you need to throw on your thickest cloak and start wielding that garden rake of yours like it’s a lightsabre.
You’re Raking Leaves Not Picking Nits
What we mean is, you don’t need to be too fussy. A single leaf in the middle of your lawn is not going to ruin your garden and see a mix of brown patch and snow mould take over. In short, there’s no need to become a leaf-nazi. You just need to get rid of most of the leaves on your lawn and then go over the few half-dozen that remain with your mower. You also don’t need to worry too much about the smaller leaves that land in your garden. Leaves from an oak tree, yes, but those from a common ash, no. No way. The focus here is your lawn’s health and so anyone that is tracking down stray leaves like they’re Dog The Bounty Hunter trying to catch a bank robber is simply doing it because they won’t settle for anything less than a perfectly manicured lawn. You don’t need to follow suit, trust us. Unless you want to, that is.
Have Some Fun With A Mulching Mower
The rise of the mulching mower may not be worth emailing home about, but they can make your clear-up job a whole lot easier. They work by shredding your leaves into super-fine bits that fall harmlessly between the blades of grass that make up your lawn, acting as a sort of fertiliser. Actually, that’s a point. If you have rakeonitus (a rare disease where you are allergic to your rake), then you could use your everyday mower instead of your rake by popping the bag on the back, doing your up and down bit and then emptying all the contents into your compost bin.
And there we have it, the answer to one of the most frustrating shower thoughts ever conceived. You. Are. Welcome.