Every fall I get the question, what do you do with the leaves at Des Moines Golf and Country Club? My simple answer is that we mulch them in place and leave them in the roughs. Here is a great little article about leaves:
It's great to have big shade trees in your yard. But, come fall, you can start to resent them. Those big trees drop leaves, and that means extra work, hassle, and lost time. However, there's good news. A recent study done at Michigan State University shows that you can forget about raking, blowing, and bagging leaves. Instead, just mulch them with your lawn mower and feed your lawn with a good fertilizer. It'll save you work, improve your soil, and add nutrients. Here's how to do it.
Chop those Leaves with your Mower
Take the grass catcher off your mower and mow over the leaves on your lawn. You want to reduce your leaf clutter to dime-size pieces. You'll know you're done when about half an inch of grass can be seen through the mulched leaf layer. Once the leaf bits settle in, microbes and worms get to work recycling them. Any kind of rotary-action mower will do the job, and any kind of leaves can be chopped up. With several passes of your mower, you can mulch up to 18 inches of leaf clutter.
Feed your Lawn to Speed Up the Process
Microbes do a better job recycling carbon from leaves when they have nitrogen. A nitrogen based fertilizer can help break down your mulched leaves faster. So your grass will grow better, and your microbes will work harder, when you feed your lawn after mulching those leaves.
See Great Results in the Spring
When spring arrives, you'll notice something. The leaf litter you mulched up in the fall will have disappeared. Your rake will look dusty and neglected. And your grass will look greener than ever.
Mulching: a Better Use of Resources
When you rake your leaves, it costs you. Your local taxes pay for trucks to sweep up your leaves or pick up your leaf bags, which often end up in landfills. If you burn leaves, you're just sending up clouds of carbon into the atmosphere. Mulching leaves simply recycles a natural resource, giving you richer soil for free.