Myth: Once Summer Turns to Fall, it’s Time to Stop Mowing
This is one of those myths that appeals to everyone who’s just plain tired of mowing their lawn by the time fall rolls around. In fact, it’s important to keep mowing your lawn well into the fall season. As long as your grass keeps growing, keep cutting it!
The ideal length of your lawn depends on your climate, but most experts agree you should keep your grass about 3 inches long, with the last cut of the season taking it down to between 1-1/4 inches to 1-1/2 inches in length. That final cut serves two purposes: it prevents a build up of organic matter which can lead to disease, and it makes raking easier. For more advice on healthy lawns, check out this collection of tips.
Myth: All Fallen Leaves Must be Collected
While it’s true that allowing fallen leaves to sit under damp or snowy conditions all winter can encourage mold and fungus growth, that doesn’t mean you have to rake and haul away every last leaf. Instead, consider the strategy of mulching leaves with your lawnmower. Many modern mowers have a “mulch” setting with which the mower traps leaves and chops them up into small pieces. You may have to make several passes, but eventually all that leaf confetti will trickle down between the blades of grass, creating excellent fertilizer for the next growing season.
Don’t buy into the myth that suggests raking leaves onto flowerbeds to create a “winter mulch” is a good idea, either. This can create the very situation you’re seeking to avoid, namely damp conditions, prolonged over the winter months, that breed mold and fungus growth.
Want more tips on dealing with the pretty-but-pesky fall leaves? Check out the article, “15 Useful Tools for Dealing with Leaves.”