Here's Why You Shouldn't Rake Your Leaves

November 1, 2019

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Since raking the leaves in the fall is one of my least favorite annual tasks, here's some research I can get behind; and it has science to back it up. Some good reasons to just leave (pun intended) the fallen foliage where it lays this autumn.

  • The National Wildlife Federation states: “The leaf layer is its own mini ecosystem!” - They act as a natural habitat for butterflies, salamanders, chipmunks, box turtles, toads, shrews, earthworms and others. They lay eggs in the leaves and feed on and under the leaf layer. By raking or blowing leaves, you disrupt their life cycle and eliminate beneficial insects.
  • By providing a habitat, you will actually help increase the population of beneficial insects for gardening season next spring.
  • Improves the health of the soil. Organic matter in soils will help regulate soil moisture. Also, earthworms love soil with decomposed leaves.
  • It cuts down on pollution from leaf blowers.
  • Prevents waste. 28 percent of household waste was food and yard trimmings.
  • Saves time. Think of how much more time you'll have to do things you enjoy, when you aren't spending hours with a rake or leaf blower in your hands.