Tips from Toby: Fall lawn maintenance

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -  

As those leaves come trickling down they form a blanket on our lawns that covers the turf from the sun. The good news is that the nutrients in those leaves are highly beneficial for the soil and the lawn, but you can't just leave them laying around, so most of us reach for the rake.

Recent University studies show that you can't return all of the leaves to the ground at one time in the form of mulch. So we need to get those piles of leaves finely chopped up.

There are new mulching blades that you can add to your mower that work even harder at turning those leaves into a small pile.

The other option is to use a leaf vacuum which will shred the leaves and bag them for you. Either way just raking them and filling tons of tons of bags is not necessary and will just make your back tired!

This is a very important time, whether you are using a mulching blade, or just bagging the leaves with your mower to make sure that your blade is very sharp.

Leaves and twigs will leave a mower blade dull in a hurry and that will just shred your grass and leaves.

Also don't mow those leaves when they are wet. You'll just wind up with a pile of goo and it puts too much stress on your mower or a leaf vac.

Once you've chopped up the leaves you can use them just like fertilizer on your lawn, garden beds and landscape.

As much of a pain as it can be, it's much better to mow lightly twice a week and mulch up the leaves than trying to wait until you have piles and piles building up.

Remember, the nutrients in those leaves are like new found gold, so don't just let all of it sit on the curb. Use them wisely, but be sure you cut them up in little tiny pieces and you'll "leave" your lawn looking gorgeous!

Leaf raking does not have to be back breaking. Check out some of the new technology, it is awesome.

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