The Importance of Raking your Leaves

By Victoria Fuller

Arguably one of the most boring and (literally) pushed aside chores in the garden is that of raking leaves. It’s time consuming, cold, unsatisfying, and seemingly pointless, so why do we do it? Well read on to learn about some of the benefits of raking your leaves!

Getting Started

Before you start your raking adventure (look we are just trying to make this as enjoyable as possible okay?) You are going to need the following items: a sturdy rake to ease the process and save yourself some back pain, a tarp to rake the leaves onto (this will also save you so much time later on when it comes to moving your leaves), some paper yard waste bags, and protective gear! Make sure you wear gardening gloves and dress toasty warm before you get raking!

Exercise and Fresh Air

Raking leaves is excellent exercise and can burn up more calories in one hour than a brisk walk or weight-training session! The movement of raking leaves is excellent for your core and back strength and helps to provide upper-body strength. However it is worth noting that as good as physical exercise is, you should always consult your healthcare professional before undertaking any intense chores, raking leaves can put some people at risk for heart attack with its strenuous nature and truly no leaves are worth threatening your life over!

Happy Yard Happy Life

Having a neat and properly cared for lawn and property will provide a sense of unparallelled satisfaction. We don’t recommend trying to “keep up with the Joneses” but it’s true to say that if you see your neighbours raking you will probably feel a lot better if you dust off the rake yourself! Plus imagine the satisfaction of having the largest leaf pile on the street, in fact why are you even still reading this?! Get out there and rake!!

Prevents Diseases for Trees & Plantlings

There are thousands of known leaf-borne diseases and fungi that can spread to your trees and plantlings causing irreparable damage. The best way to stop this from happening is simple prevention: why treat something when we have the total control to stop it from happening in the first place? Simply rake your leaves away from your trees and baby plants to avoid any cross contamination. Thankfully if you have a Cedar Planter raised garden bed you won’t have to worry about these problems as the raised legs help to prevent these sorts of diseases from reaching your precious plant children…just sayin’!

Eliminates Lawn Damage

When leaves are left to their own mischievous devices they will smother the grass underneath and thus inhibit new growth in the Spring. Leaves left to their own devices can also cause snow mold diseases on your lawn, which not only look unsightly but can also release spores into the air which can irritate allergies and cause sneezing, runny noses, and coughing, that’s right: your lawn can actually make you sick if you don’t rake your leaves!

Prevents Encouraging Pests

As adorable as voles, mice, rats, hedgehogs, and basically every other rodent known to man are, they can be a real nuisance around your property, and if you leave your leaves un-raked you are essentially rolling out the welcome mat for rodents-a-plenty. Prevent this problem before it starts by raking and effectively disposing of your leaves.

What to do with Leaves

You have a few options with what to do with your raked leaves, the first and most popular option is to compost them! Chop them into manageable sizes with your rake and add them to your compost pile to decompose and eventually add nutrients to your future garden. The second option is to take advantage of any leaf collection services that your local jurisdiction may offer! Do a little research into your local council’s yard waste and leaf collection guidelines! The third option that we would recommend is to use a lawn mower with a “mulching” setting to mulch the leaves before adding them to your garden!

What not to do with your Leaves

Not to end on a negative note but we wanted to make sure you knew the reasons not to do the following:

Do not burn your leaves

Burning your leaves is not only illegal basically everywhere, but it is also a massive environmental hazard and can be damaging to your lungs and eyes, just don’t do it!

Do not throw your leaves away with the garbage

Throwing your leaves away may seem like a harmless way to get rid of them, but they will inevitably end up in a landfill and when they decompose they will produce additional methane which is terrible for the environment.

So there we have it! We hope this post has inspired you to make the most of your leaves and thus make the most of your outdoor space!

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