CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – As your yard starts to pile up with leaves, lawn care is essential to keep your grass healthy.

With the fall foliage and leaf pile-ups coming later than usual, it’s important to keep your grass clear of leaves if you want it to survive through the winter. Leaves are starting to fall in bunches which can pile up on your lawn much quicker than a couple of weeks ago. More leaves will fall as the season progresses and temperatures start to cool.

While some may use leaves to mulch their lawn this time of year, Gary Courchesne with G & H Landscaping says this can do more harm than good, “mulching the leaves, I would discourage that because what you doing is taking potentially low pH materials, mulching them, and incorporating them back into the soil which is going to drop the pH in your soil.”

Maintaining a soil pH near six and a half is ideal for keeping soil healthy. Grass will start to turn light yellow when the pH balance is off by a little as one. Courchesne says keeping a well-balanced soil is just as important as keeping your grass the right length.

“Lawns with extensive leaf pile up could lose out on key nutrients that are necessary for the grass to survive during the winter.”

Leaves block the grass from receiving nutrients from sunlight and rain. This prevents them from storing these nutrients before harsh winter conditions can potentially kill your lawn.

If you want to put those pesky fall leaves to use, they can be used to mulch other plants such as flowers and perennial plants. 

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Jack Wu joined the 22News Storm Team in July 2023. Follow Jack on X @the_jackwu and view his bio to see more of his work.