When should I start raking leaves?

You might have already noticed the first initial leaves drifting from your trees and onto your pristine grass, heralding the arrival of a dreaded yearly task: raking. Unfortunately, the when to rake question isn’t a simple stop-and-go scenario.

While you’re stretching those muscles to prepare for the raking workout, make the rest of the job as easy as possible by taking some of the guesswork out. Here are some key factors to consider when deciding when to start raking leaves off your yard.



Leaf Quantity

There are a lot of opinions on how many leaves are too many for your grass to thrive, and the only way to know for sure what is best for your lawn is to ask a professional.

However, in general you don’t need to worry about rushing out to rake as soon as your trees shed a few leaves. You can wait until leaves have obscured your lawn, to the point where you can’t see the top half of your grass blades anymore, before starting to get too concerned.


That said, once that level of coverage is reached, you probably don’t want to delay too long. A thick, heavy layer of leaves can smother the grass beneath and serve as a breeding ground for disease.

The longer you wait, the more arduous it will be to haul off the fallen foliage. Once the leaves start falling, make sure to make removal a routine so that they don’t have time to decompose or crush your grass.




Another important factor to consider is rain. Even if you have a lighter carpet of leaves on your lawn than the amount mentioned above, if it gets wet, it will get heavier and be much more likely to damage the grass beneath it.


The balancing act comes in with the fact that wet leaves are much harder to remove. If you’ve got a wet carpet of leaves obscuring your grass, you can wait until a dryer day to clear them away to make the task easier — but if you wait too long, it endangers your grass.


Mulching Potential


One of the biggest hot-button topics in recent years when it comes to leaf removal has been whether you should do it at all. Some professionals recommend using a mulching mower to chop up your leaf coverage, allowing it to decompose and feed your lawn.


However, this isn’t practical for every lawn owner, especially if you have a particularly high number of trees in your yard. If you’ve got a high volume of leaves, you can consider moving some to use as mulch in your garden so that your lawn doesn’t have to carry all the weight. If you choose the mulching route, keep in mind that it’s also going to look a little different than the clean-cut lawn you’re used to.

As this list clearly demonstrates, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for the leaf removal question. If you’re feeling lost on what method is the best for your lawn and lifestyle needs, we can help! Contact North Texas Lawns today to let us take care of your leaf removal this fall.


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