Leaf Removal Tips for Lawns in Pittsburgh, PA

leaf cleanup rake

There are questions about if letting leaves lay on your lawn is a good practice in Pittsburgh, PA. For one thing, lawns need the sun to survive, and if you allow leaves on the lawn, it can cause bare spots to appear or even kill the grass. Leaves form a dense mass when wet and can also destroy or damage your lawn. When matted, the leaves can reduce the evaporation of water and block sunlight. Dead leaves can cause mold, disease and even fungus which can damage and also destroy your lawn within two years.

To keep your yard healthy in Pittsburgh, PA, removing dead leaves is essential so your yard can breathe. If a thick layer of shredded leaves remains on the tip of the grass over the winter, the grass can become smothered. This, in turn, allows pests to move in and diseases, such as brown patch and snow mold. If the leaves have matted down the grass, it won’t let new shoots of grass from emerging in the spring.


Easy Ways to Clear Leaves

1. Smaller leaves like honey locust, ginkgo, dogwood and birch trees, will decompose or blow away. These can even be left on the ground as long as they don’t pile up or become too thick.

2. When you run your mower over leaves, sometimes it may take more than one time, it can reduce them to small pieces, and these can be left on the lawn. These can add much-needed nutrients to your yard which will encourage new growth in the spring.

3. When you rake up your leaves, you may want to consider using a biodegradable bag instead of plastic. That way, the leaves will decompose in the landfill instead of remaining in the plastic bags and not being turned into soil.

4. You can have a leaf removal service come and vacuum your leaves which will remove even the smallest amount of leaves from your yard.

5. You can use a leaf blower to blow leaves onto a tarp, then place them in disposable bags and remove them.

6. You can also use a leaf blower to blow them into an area which won’t cause any damage to your lawn.

7. If you use a mulching mower and run over leaves, then the leaves will be finely shredded and fall between the blades of grass in your yard. Or you can use a bag attachment and then empty the bag into the compost pile or compost bin.

Clearing Leaves Efficiently

1. Make sure to try to pick a day that the wind isn’t blowing so you have better control of raking. If you can only rake one day, and the wind is blowing then try to rake in the direction the wind is blowing. If you rake into the wind, then the leaves will blow around the piles you already have established.

2. You need patience when dealing with leaves, and you can’t get them all in one day. Rake your pathways and high-traffic areas but if leaves are still on the trees, then let the leaves pile up. If you wait until the branches are bare, then you’ll save yourself a lot of time.

3. Always use the right tool for the job, if your trusty rusted leaf rake has seen better days, then get rid of it. There are some excellent new raking tools which can be checked out and will save on your back.

4. When you rake, be sure to do it correctly to save your back. Keep a good posture and stand upright and switch out your bottom hand often. Make sure to bend from your knees and not bend from your back and stoop when picking up piles of leaves to save stress on your back. Don’t do too much at once, divide your yard into sections and then rake them over a period of days. If you don’t have much time, then take breaks often and drink lots of water.

Removing leaves before they cause damage to your lawn is essential for a great looking lawn during the peak season of summer. Not interested in cleaning up the leaves yourself? Visit our Pittsburgh lawn care page for more information about letting the pros handle it for you!


Lisa Rodriguez