Mowing leaves may save time and money

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COLUMBIA – This fall, mowing leaves may be the better, cheaper alternative to raking and bagging.

Studies from Michigan State University have found that leaf mulching benefits the environment by helping return nutrients to the ground and increasing the amount of organic matter in soil.

Brad Fresenburg, an assistant extension professor in turf grass sciences at the University of Missouri, said, when it comes to mowing leaves, using them for mulch saves time and money.

“As leaves build up, they can smother the lawn and cause thinning, and in time, an individual may have to come back and spend some dollars to re-seed that lawn.”

Fresenburg said that mulching in leaves early on is the best way to combat that problem. 

Using leaf mulch in the fall has been found to soften the ground and lead to greener lawns in the spring.

Fresenburg gave the following tips for mowing leaves:

  • Have a sharp mower blade. Mulching mowers work best. 
  • Keep mowers at their normal mowing heights. Don't let leaves pile up too high.
  • Mow slower. Leaves will chop up easier and work themselves down into the canopy of the lawn.
  • Don't try to mow wet leaves.

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