mulched leaves=natural herbicide?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i've read this somewhere, that mulching leaves into the lawn, will act as a natural herbicide. didn't give it much thought. but check this out, like 2 yrs ago i started using doubles, which meant i started mulching alot of the stuff back into the lawn. there are certain lawns that would always require 2 blanket apps of herbicide, as well as spot spraying throughout the season for crabgrass and broadleafs. not that there were major weeds, but on some we aim for totally weed free. i noticed something this past season, the lawns that needed this constant attention for weeds, needed only one blanket app this season, and no spot spraying, and they were virtually weed free! could there be a connection?
  2. lawndude2004

    lawndude2004 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    the only problem with mulching leaves is that it turns the soil acidic and prevents germination of overseeding. on an established lawn it is not as big of a problem
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    Connection?.... Heck I dunno. A combination of things? Sure I'll buy that.

    A combination of a good program over a period of time and pre-emergent effects of leaves being mulched in the lawn... left undisturbed. That I'll certainly buy.

    My personal opinion is that weeds have already been killed, grass gets overseeded and up before cold weather, leaves get mulched in and weed seeds have a harder time working themselves in for late fall germination or germination in the spring.

    What I have found is that my full service customers become much less service intensive the longer I service them. I have one that has been with me on full service for years and there has been zero chemicals applied this year and one spot app last season at the most. The best weed defense is a tall dense healthy lawn.

    On a side note about the leaf mulch... I actually have one that I litterally apply compost leaf mulch in the beds and tree rings. I never have to spray it, just maintain separation. All I ever do is a bit of plucking after overseeding with fescue. A few seedlings will find rooting.

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