Terry Nickeson doesn’t have to fake it before she rakes it.
“Actually I don’t really mind it," Nickeson says next door to her Stockton home. “I don’t know. When it gets really, really bad I don’t like it when the whole lawn is totally full of leaves.”
However, there is good news for Terry. Leaf experts say just say no to the mess.
For 20 years, Carlos Dutra has owned Stockton’s Main Street Nursery on East Main Street a few miles from downtown.
He says not raking is there for the taking.
“It’s very beneficial because it fertilizes the soil for once and also it prevents weeds," says Dutra.
Grapevine leaves from Dutra's nursery from a year before turn to compost a year later and return to the soil.
Dutra also rakes them up into a trash can and spreads them out into a natural mulch in his cherry orchard.
A "no rake zone" creates a leaf barrier, allowing wildlife or insects a way to find food or other habitat, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
Many butterflies and moth species call your leaf litter home, an important food source for birds to feed their babies in the spring.
Less leaves in the trash saves land fill space.
Although "rakers" like Anthony Hall see the benefits, he still likes a tidy lawn.
“You know it’s always good curb appeal, yard appeal to have nice clean grass," says Hall.
Carlos Dutra also suggests using a lawnmower to cut the leaves and leave them in your yard or plant or flower beds and let them sink into the soil.
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