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Is there a right way and wrong way to rake leaves?


Question: Is there a right way and wrong way to rake leaves?
Yes, if you want to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your fall raking....
Answer: There's more to fall raking than just removing leaves and pine needles: there's also thatch to be removed. Thatch is the layer of dead turfgrass tissue between the green vegetation and the soil surface that must be removed, or "dethatched," to maintain lawn health. Consequently, there is a right way and wrong way to rake your lawn in the fall:

Right way: Raking deeply enough to remove thatch as well as fallen leaves. Wrong way: Simply skimming the fallen leaves off the surface, leaving thatch behind.

While serious thatch problems cannot be resolved merely by raking, it certainly doesn't hurt to try to stay ahead of thatch by raking deeply when you do rake.

Will you be using the leaves that you rake for mulch or for compost? To understand why this should make a difference, please consult Raking Leaves for Compost and Mulch. If you're using your fall leaves for mulch, you can read the answers to common mulching questions at the Mulching FAQ. For a full article on mulching, please consult Selecting the Proper Mulch.

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