Fall Leaf Cleanup Tips

By Todd Fratzel on Lawn Care

Cleanup Fall Leafs for Healthier Spring Lawn

Fall leaf cleanup is essential in order to have a healthy lawn in the Spring. Based on a recent survey (for John Deere conducted by Harris Interactive) only 22% of Americans know that Fall is the best time to clean up leaves over Spring. The following tips were provided to us from the folks at John Deere.

House and Lawn

When to remove leaves

Leaves need to be removed in the fall because they block the sun – an essential ingredient to maintaining growth and development of the lawn’s root system.  In the cooler months, the lawn is making food to store in the root system so that it can continue to grow underground in the dormant season. It is recommended that you remove leaves weekly so that the lawn isn’t deprived of sunlight.

While raking is the most common method, there are alternatives. You can use a leaf blower or attach a material collection or mulching system to your mower to make the job easier.


Riding lawn mowers with mulching decks chop up leaves and blow them back into the turf. This has the benefit of not only taking the work out of leaf removal, but the mulched leaves provide a nutrient-rich boost to the soil.


Composting is the breaking down of organic matter for use as fertilizer in the future. Anyone can build a compost pile in their yard or buy one at a local hardware store.  If you build one, it should be three feet in diameter and four feet high in order to build up hot internal temperature that gets the material “cooking.”  It is recommended that you fertilize it with 10 parts each of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Compost piles can be made of any organic materials like leaves, grass clippings, straw and other disease-free vegetable matter.

Get Good Equipment

Many of these tasks are much easier done with equipment such as mowers and tractors. I’ve been using my John Deere mulching mower for 7 years now and it works great for mulching up my leaves each Fall. If you’re looking for other equipment to help with Fall cleanup why not check out all of the equipment that John Deere offers here.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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