Every October in Iowa, fall leaves cover the ground and it's time to rake them up.

Embracing The Autumn Ritual

Iowa's fall trees are a mesmerizing display of nature's beauty and God’s amazing creation. As we feel the last warmth of the sun’s rays on our cheeks, and the fall chill takes our breath away, the lush green foliage transforms into a breathtaking palette of vibrant hues. The state's landscape becomes a canvas painted with rich reds, golden yellows, and burnt oranges that  contrast the baby blue backdrop.

The trees let go of their leaves like glitter bursting over the ground below, our yards are once again blanketed in a tapestry of red, orange, and gold.  As the leaves rustle under foot and drift  cross our driveways, it’s time to start the age old tradition of fall raking. Raking leaves is more than a nostalgic exercise for a fall day, it’s a vital part of maintaining your lawn health.

Leaves, as beautiful as they are, can create a barrier between the grass and essential sunlight. Lawns need sunlight for photosynthesis, a vital process that enables plants to produce their own food. When leaves cover the grass, they block sunlight, hindering the grass's growth. Raking leaves away ensures that your lawn can continue to thrive even as winter approaches.

A layer of wet leaves can create a damp environment ideal for the growth of mold and lawn diseases. These diseases can quickly spread and damage your grass, leading to brown patches and unsightly areas. By raking leaves promptly, you reduce the risk of these diseases taking hold, keeping your lawn healthy and green.

A well-aerated lawn is essential for root health. Leaves left unraked can mat together, creating a dense barrier that hampers the flow of air to the grassroots. Proper aeration is crucial for the grass to receive nutrients and water. Raking leaves allows the soil to breathe, ensuring your lawn remains robust and resilient.

As you proceed with this autumn ritual, I hope you can appreciate its significance beyond the surface level. And remember that you're not just clearing your yard; you're nurturing the health of your lawn, preserving the environment, and embracing a timeless tradition that connects us to the cycles of nature.  And most importantly, raking leaves creates the fondest memories with your children or grandchildren.

To see when leaf pick-up and removal is in your area, check the links below:

Iowa City:  https://www.icgov.org/government/departments-and-divisions/public-works/streets/leaf-vacuum-program

North Liberty: https://northlibertyiowa.org/departments/streets/leaf-pickup/

Tiffin:  https://www.tiffin-iowa.org/residents/yard_waste.php

Swisher:  https://www.swisheria.org/trash-recycling-yardwaste

Cedar Rapids:  https://www.cedar-rapids.org/residents/utilities/leaf_vacuum_collection.php

Marion:  https://www.cityofmarion.org/government/public-services/garbage-and-recycling/curbside-collection