am I crazy?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by B&SFTW, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. B&SFTW

    B&SFTW LawnSite Member
    Messages: 232

    my thought is, leaves decompose on their own in nature, right? so if you aren't worried about the appearance impact, is there really a significant downside to just chopping up the leaves with the mower. my dad swears it'll ruin the lawn.

    I have a lawn this is an issue at, as they don't seem to want me to rake.
  2. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Messages: 4,143

    Leaves have acid. If you get to much build up you can do damage
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  3. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    leaves do decompose on their own in nature but not fast enough to not kill grass especially if left over winter. go out in the woods and rake away the leaves in a 5'x5' area, count the blades of grass.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    There exist two types of lawns with leaves...

    First there is the kind with few trees, there exist just enough leaves where simply chopping them up is quite the practical move.

    And then there is the yard with so many trees that no amount of chopping gets rid of them, all it does is make an ever bigger mess.

    So, it depends.

    Customers, take note: Leaves are NOT a $5 or $10 an hour job, fall is the time to get your leaves cleaned up, whether you do it yourself or pay someone else to do it, leaving them until spring and trying to hide the problem or calling to ask for "lawn mowing" when the yard is still full of leaves that never got cleaned up are not good answers.

    Doesn't matter if you hate them, rake them, blow them or suck them, it takes X amount of time to clean up Y amount of leaves.
    The easy way to clean up leaves is to get up in there and do them no matter how long or what it takes, doing them like that is the easy way.
    The hard way is to hem and haw and hate and procrastinate away until one faces the piper later on, that's the hard way to do leaves.
    And you can always call someone else to do them, and expect to pay to have them done.

    However you want to do it, but read this: Call me in spring with leaves still in the yard, you and I are off to a rough start.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  5. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Hello my Yooper friend!
    Chop em up and don't worry too much about it. I have done this for many years and have no ill effects. If you chop them they decompose faster. I can write volumes on this but I have to go to work this morning. Do a search here as this is a huge topic. I will say that you don't want to have so much debris that the lawn is choked out or windrowed. The other potential problem comes with LARGE volumes of Oak leaves. Oaks in huge amounts do have lots of acid and can potentially cause issues. A few oaks heare or there arent a problem. Maples are my favorite. When dry they turn to dust and make my life very easy. Chop away.
  6. B&SFTW

    B&SFTW LawnSite Member
    Messages: 232

    well, this time I chopped them. thank you all for your responses, I used a side discharge mower and blew as much as possible into the woods, and also avoided windrows, and actually went over a lot of it a couple times to redistribute everything as evenly as possible, and I think it'll work well for this time. next time I'm going to talk to him about raking at least by the house. it's 3 acres, so raking the whole thing is kind of a waste of time, but I'm going to try to get him to okay raking for this once, at least.
  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,754

    My entire life I've always heard the leaves, especially oak, are bad for a lawn, and so I've always bagged or blown them off. Then at the beginning of this past winter I decided to do a little research about the subject of mulching leaves and its affects on long term health for a lawn. I found this link. It is done by UofM right here in this state,and IIRC without going back and reading it all, was done either in north western lower penn area, or in the UP. It was very enlightening. I think you'll find it very helpful too-
  8. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,303

    As long as its not excessive. I just chop em
  9. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,762

    We do one property that is around 3 acres, and we remove over 34 yards of leaves per season. Chopping them couldn't be good for the lawn.
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,203

    Bingo that is the correct answer just mulch them and drive off.

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