(in North-East USA): Must *every* leaf be blown from lawn?

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Subject: (in North-East USA): Must *every* leaf be blown from lawn?
A couple of people (have nice lawns, gardins, and so on -- and tell me that I *must" get rid of *all* thse leaves.
Question: is this really necessary?
And if so, why?
THANKS!
David
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On Nov 29, 8:34 am, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

Why?
To pollute the air with particulates & 2 stroke exhuast. To generate noise. To keep low skilled workers employed OR to keep OCD homeowners busy & happy.
other than those, I can't think of any others
cheers Bob
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On Nov 29, 10:34 am, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

Your kidding right, mulched leaves-grass, left on the lawn is best for numerous reasons. Unless you put organic material back into the ground, polluted dust is all it is getting. After 35 years my mom wonders why the dirt is like silt. Mulching everything has made a big difference in dirt quality and not needing lawn fertilisers. No real gardener removes everything.
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snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) writes:

Well, if they told you it MUST be true. :)

Depends.
Leaves lying on the lawn kill the grass underneath.
The dead patches fill in by themselves over the course of the summer.
The bottom line is, the better you want your lawn to look, the more meticulous you want to be.
I get rid of most of the leaves but a few accumulate over the winter. I don't like to walk on the lawn during the winter especially when it's muddy, that compacts the soil which is also not good for the lawn. So I don't go and pick up every leaf all winter long.
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David Combs wrote:

They tend to kill the grass where they pile up. But I don't agree that removing them is required. I have a mulcher blade on the lawn mower and use that to chop them up where they lie. The next rain or snow breaks them down the rest of the way. Folks who need a picture perfect putting green lawn might disapprove but it saves more stuff going to the landfill and adds organic matter to the soil.
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On 29 Nov 2008 11:34:13 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

Like everything, leaves, sticks, grass, pizza joint fliers and slow pets, run over them with the lawn mower. Return the nutrients to the soil.
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(David Combs) wrote:

Absolutely NOT! Leave them on the grass to protect the lawn, them grind them into pulp with the first mowing. These idiots that remove all the leaves are the same ones who need to fertilize their lawns. We never have to do that. Also, these same morons mow the grass so close every week that it turns brown unless they water it. We never have to do that, either, since we cut it to a much more reasonable length, and only twice a month. It's not rocket science, it's a lawn.
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(David Combs) wrote:

Absolutely NOT! Leave them on the grass to protect the lawn, them grind them into pulp with the first mowing. These idiots that remove all the leaves are the same ones who need to fertilize their lawns. We never have to do that. Also, these same morons mow the grass so close every week that it turns brown unless they water it. We never have to do that, either, since we cut it to a much more reasonable length, and only twice a month. It's not rocket science, it's a lawn.
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On Nov 29, 8:34 am, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

The proper answer to 'get rid of them' is the 'bird'.
Harry K
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In forth:

funny you should ask. I recieved this a couple of days ago<g>
(overheard in a conversation between God and St. Francis):
God: "Francis, you know all about gardens and nature; what in the world is going on down there in the U.S.? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistles and the stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought, and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honeybees, and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of color by now. All I see are patches of green."
St. Francis: "It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. They are called the Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass."
God: "Grass? But it is so boring, it's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, bees or birds, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want grass growing there?"
St. Francis: "Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it has grown a little, they cut it....sometimes two times a week."
God: "They cut it? Do they bale it like hay?"
St. Francis: "Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags."
God: "They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?"
St. Francis: "No sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away."
God: "Now let me get this straight...they fertilize it to make it grow and when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?"
St. Francis: "Yes, Sir."
God: "These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work."
St. Francis: "You aren't going to believe this Lord, but when the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it."
God: "What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep the moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves become compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life."
St. Francis: "You'd better sit down, Lord. As soon as the leaves fall, the Suburbanites rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away."
God: "No way! What do they do to protect the shrubs and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?"
St Francis: "After throwing the leaves away, they go out and buy something called mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves."
God: "And where do they get this mulch?"
St. Francis: "They cut down the trees and grind them up to make mulch."
God: "Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. Saint Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?"
St. Catherine: "Dumb and Dumber," Lord. It's a really stupid movie about...
God: "Never mind -I think I just heard the whole story from Saint Francis!"
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Very, very good!
Any more of that quality, maybe contribute them here?
Or put me on a "forward-to" list for the really good ones?
Perfect, just perfect, that story!
David
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On 29 Nov 2008 11:34:13 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

Removing leaves helps get more light to the grass and shows a tidy appearance. I have used leaves to mulch and to protect rose bushes for the winter. Shredded leaves makes excellent compost. There are still idiots that insist on burning leaves when they are better left alone.
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snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote in

If you wanna keep them nice, then you do. I have many trees behind my house - about 15 of them. I just let the leaves pile up along the fence on the east side of the property. The back property grass isn't so nice.
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"David Combs" wrote

I'll post a little disclaimer. If you dont, then they blow into others yards and then they have to cleanup what they consider a mess. Neighbors must be upset at having to clean up after your trees?
Also, dunno where you are but it's cold enough you lose leaves in winter evidently. If any of your neighbors have a fireplace, they'd be using it about now. Firehazard. I have the same thing here, with a fireplace and too many dry leaves can lead to potential hazards if the wind kicks up and they pile against my chimney.
My right side neighbor (same side as my fireplace) have what we think of as a communal tree. Huge lovely old oak. Technically it's about 2 feet into his property line but so close to my driveway, it's got cracks from roots (his driveway is well away and fine). We dont mind the cracks (like the tree too much to worry about little things like that) but come winter, we have to clear the leaves quite a bit or they can pile up as much as 3ft deep along the side of the fireplace. (I kid you not, that can be the depth of leaves due to wind effects etc).
We don't worry between us about the leaves. See, Joe is 78 and his wife is 72. We have lived here for 10+ years and regard the tree as communal property, so when the time comes, we just pick out all the sticks (great kindling there!) then run the lawnmower over the whole area (both yards) to turn it into a sort of mulch. We then turn over as many bags as they want to their compost heap. We get along just fine.
Joe and I have no concern about 'looks' of the leaves, but are safety concious about the fireplace. 2 days ago I didnt feel like raking leaves other than back from the fireplace directly against the brick (a good 1.5 feet deep) so wetted them down with a hose after moving the bit against the chimney back some 15ft. First though Charlotte (daugher, 15) and I scavanged out a 30 gallon trashbag worth of little to middle sized sticks to use as kindling.
The communal Oak will stop being a problem within the next week, which is just when our flowering pear will take off it's skivvies and go naked for the rest of the year. It's not as big as the oak, but it's still a mighty big tree!
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Actually, mulching them in is better for the lawn. Getting rid of them is NOT necessary at all.
s

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Steve Barker DLT wrote:

Depends how many trees you have. If I didn't clear the first few layers out, my back yard would die entirely. I mulched the final layer, going back and forth enough times so some green was showing through the brown.
For the sake of neighborhood peace, I did rake and blow the front. Old fart across the street told me I should take out half the trees in back, to save time raking.
Thank heavens I have a treeline in back to pile up the leaves, so disposal isn't a problem. From just 3 previous years of doing that, the mulch back there is over ankle deep.
-- aem sends....
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There are two different styles of "mulch". One is to pile the leaves around trees, shrubs, etc. The other is to put in a "mulching plug" in your lawn mower and chop them up by mowing over them as they lay. Most of the 'mulch' suggestions in the thread refer to the latter.
I have used the latter method since 1976 at times with leaves higher than the entire mower. Takes multiple passes but when done the lawn has a 'salt and pepper' appearance and a day later nothing shows. Leaves need to be dry for the best resultss though.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

My mower IS a mulcher- no side discharge at all. It does have a rear bagger that has never been used. To mulch each layer as it falls would take mowing 2-3 times a week at the peak of the drop season. That ain't gonna happen, and I happened to be out of town the week most of them came down this year anyway.
Gotta do SOME blowing and raking anyway, for the places the mower can't fit, and around the shed and such. The layer I mulched this year took 2 weeks to sink in and break up. Like I said, if I mulched it all, the grass would suffocate, just like it does in the woods. (My backyard is pretty shady other than in winter.)
-- aem sends...
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Harry K wrote:

Same here with a similar depth of leaves.
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I think it's a yuppie thing. My Dad runs them over with the lawn mower, and leaves them to rot. This gives my mom fits, she doesn't like the colorful front lawn.
I run mine over with the mower, and been doing so for 15 years or so. No complaints from the neighbors.
--
Christopher A. Young
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