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Fall Home Care: Do You Need to Rake Your Leaves?

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autumn-72736_640Raking leaves was always the fall chore that I dreaded the most. Owning a home and having your own yard is great, but even if you don’t have any leaf-dropping trees in your yard, the leaves from your neighbor’s trees can easily infest your yard and cover your entire lawn. But do you really have to rake them? Here’s what you need to know about fallen leaves this fall season:

Rake Leaves on Your Lawn

It’s the most boring childhood chore there is: raking leaves. While you don’t have to rake leaves from every corner of your yard, you should at least rake them off of your lawn. Dry leaves on your lawn can be a fire hazard and because they are likely to blow and also congregate on your neighbors’ lawns, it is always a good idea to rake them up before they become a problem. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to rake them into piles and throw them out.

What should you do with the leaves you rake up? Putting them on your garden and at the base of your trees is a good place to start. Leaves make excellent fertilizer and mulch, so putting them around your plants, can help them retain water and protect their roots throughout the winter.

Clean Up Fallen Fruit and Pull Weeds

The two other tasks that you should do before it snows is cleaning up any fruit, nuts, or other debris that your trees might have dropped in your yard. It’s also important to take the time to pull the last set of weeds and to mow your lawn. This will help to reduce the number of weeds that spring up once the ground thaws and will give your lawn a great start on the growing season next year.

Are there any other tasks that you should do before it snows? Prune your trees and rose bushes, removing any damage that summer or fall storms might have caused. This will prevent heavy snows from breaking off those limbs and doing further damage to the tree.

All of the extra leaves, fallen fruit, and pruned tree limbs can easily be put into a compost pile, so in the spring, you will have nutrient-rich compost for your garden.

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