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Newly planted grass and autumn leaves

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by kingtaj on October 26, 2005 02:18 AM
Hello all, great forum!

I have a small, shaded backyard and I recently (8 days ago) planted a combination seed mix designed for shady lawns. Temperatures are still very good for growth, but I have a problem with leaves.

My lawn is becoming covered with autumn leaves and I'm worried the seedlings won't get enough light. On the other hand, I don't think I should walk on the young grass or rake it. Any suggestions? Is it better to allow the grass to be covered by leaves or to walk on it to remove the leaves?

Advice appreciated!
by Patty S on October 26, 2005 11:48 AM
Have you ever raked away an old pile of leaves in an alleyway or somewhere that hadn't had anything growing there before? If so, I'll just bet you uncovered all kinds of newly sprouted vegetation! Those leaves aren't going to hurt newly planted grass seed. In fact, it just might be helpful, in holding the warmth of the soil in (which is the primary reason that Autumn lawn planting is more successful than Springtime planting; the ground is still warm enough to give germinating seeds a good start). Photosynthesis isn't a vital issue at this stage of the game, so don't worry too much about the seeds not getting enough light.

You are right to be hesitant about walking on newly planted lawn, however, raking might be an even worse idea, after all the work you've probably done! If, by chance, you are talking about many, many leaves... as in layer upon layer, which will stay on top of the new planting all winter, there MIGHT be cause for concern... so if you have a leaf/snow blower, that would be your best bet for removing excessive leaf buildup. (And would make you feel better anyway!)

Good luck with your new lawn! We're in the process of doing the same thing, & my poor back is still screaming at me for not taking breaks while I was raking & rock picking yesterday! I'm convinced that putting in a new lawn (& doing it RIGHT) is the hardest type of "gardening" in existence! I'm looking forward to the results, & I don't think I'm going to mind the mowing at all!

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by kingtaj on October 29, 2005 10:53 PM
Well thank you so much Patty! There isn't that many leaves on it, maybe just one layer, so I guess it shouldn't be a big issue.

I really appreciate your help and good luck with your new lawn!

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