Mulching Leaves

Mulching Leaves

Q: What can I do with all the leaves in my yard? I don’t want to bag them up, I would like to just run the lawn mower over them and mulch them on the lawn but my husband thinks that it may cause a thatch problem and the lawn may suffer if I do that. What do you recommend?
 
A: According to a recent study at Michigan State University, you no longer have to bag your leaves. Run over them with a mulching lawn mower until the pieces are about dime size. About 1/2 inch of the grass should show through. Over the winter the leaves will decompose and add nutrients to your soil. Adding a little nitrogen fertilizer will help the leaves decompose more quickly. Most leaves break down very easily with the exception of live oak and magnolia leaves. If you do choose to bag the leaves, find a friend or Master Gardener who will compost them. Most Master Gardeners consider leaves as free fertilizer.

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