Fall Leaf Fertilizer (continued)

Six Steps for Success When
Making Leaf Mulch Fertilizer

Use a rotary mulching mower.  Sharpen the blade before mowing and mow at a slow, steady speed to best pulverize the leaves.  In order to make the mulch fine enough you may need to make several passes.  Mowing perpendicular to the pervious pass will give you a fine mulch that will fall under the blades of grass.

Only mulch the leaves when they are dry.   
Leaves wet with dew, frost or rain will mat together and you won’t be able to make the particles fine enough.  Wet leaves make it difficult to push. The mower may become clogged and wet leaves will dull the mower blade. 

Don’t touch that dial.  You will get the best results if you mulch the leaves with the same mower height setting you normally use for your turf.

Don’t wait to get started.  In most northern areas October is the best time for mulching leaves.   Southern locations may not see leaf fall until November.  Oak leaves, however, persist longer on the tree and can be mulched when they finally do come down.  Mow the leaves within 2-3 days after they fall.

Maple LeafPhoto Credit:
James Jordan/Flickr

Always leave at least the tops of the grass blades showing.  Fall is a time for photosynthesis and your lawn stores carbohydrates as food during this time.  Even a heavy application of leaf mulch (up to 6 inches) will not smother the grass as long as you do not entirely cover the blades of grass.

Supplement leaf mulch fertilizer with nitrogen.  Slow or quick release nitrogen may be applied at half the normal rate.  For fast release this will be one half pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet for best results.  Slow release nitrogen should be applied at one pound per 1000 square feet.

 

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