Now that the growing season is winding down, it is time to start thinking about putting our lawns to bed for the winter. One question we often get this time of year is, “…is it acceptable to shred the fallen leaves with my mower?”
Provided that the leaves don’t get too thick, the answer is yes. An excessive cover of leaves, even if shredded, left on the lawn will cause the turf to become thin. At McCoy Landscape, we suggest shredding light coverings of leaves, but once they start to build up, it is wise to bag or rake them.
If you are doing your own mowing, we suggest moving your mower blade or deck down a couple of notches from your preferred setting for the last mowing of the season. This will help clean up the lawn and assist in the prevention of snow mold growth during the winter months.
Additionally, recommend a late season balanced lawn fertilization application. The fall or Autumn months are the best time for lawn fertilization because the growth rate of the turf is starting to slow. The nutrients provided with late season lawn fertilization help build a strong, dense root system. A strong root system makes for a denser lawn, which in turn helps resist disease. Another pleasant benefit is that a fall lawn fertilization helps the lawn green up earlier in the spring.
Lawn weed control applications are also prime for the fall season. A good application of weed control now will mean fewer dandelions and other broad leaf weeds next spring.