Bill Satre

How Suggestion From Popular Science Backfired

The fall colors in the lakes area as the leaves begin to fall.

Raking Leaves Is for Suckers!?!?

Popular Science just did a big write-up on why it’s better to hit all those dead leaves with your LAWNMOWER a few times.

Now, I know some people enjoy raking leaves.  Maybe your kids like to jump in the piles, and that’s fine.  But if it’s just work, there’s an easier way to deal with them.  And it’s actually better for your lawn . . .

The idea is to basically turn them into mulch.  Then over the winter, tiny microbes eat the carbon and create nutrients, like nitrogen, phosphorous, and sulfur.  Which are all good for your grass.  The technical term for it is “mineralization.”

You might have to mow over them more than once to really chop them up.  But if you do, you’ll end up with a thicker, healthier lawn in the spring.  And mowing instead of raking might save you time, especially if you have a big yard and a riding mower.

Up north here in areas with a lot of snow, we just have to make sure we do it before STEADY snow starts to hit.  Because when full, un-mulched leaves get covered in snow, it can KILL your grass.

Once they’re wet, they matte together.  Then sunlight can’t get in, and it’s like a permanent layer of shade.  So you just can’t wait too long.

Made sense to me so on Friday afternoon I hit the leaves with the yard tractor and the big 42 inch mower deck. The leaves were already thick and covered the ground completely. There was no way to know that on the edge of the gravel driveway was a hazard that would change my opinion of endeavor. There under the leaves was a granite rock about 3 inches across and I hit it with the mower. 

When you hit a rock with any mower you know it. It’s loud and cringe worthy. This was especially concerning as it rattled the tractor before shooting out into the yard. I had no doubt that the mower blade would have had a chunk out of it. Where did the rock go?

Though I didn’t hear the sound of glass breaking, the sight of a smashed window in my Suburban parked in the adjacent driveway confirmed I had done a bad thing. Not only did the rock go through the side window, it also went all the way through to the other side and out the other window. It was through and through. Safety glass was falling on the ground all around my SUV. 

A large rock entered and exited on the other side breaking both windows.

We put some packing tape on the rest of the window. Taping it held the glass that was still in the window stay there. I grabbed some of the B93.3 banner on a roll to go over the gaping hole. More tape and we were road worthy. Monday I began the search for a replacement. Insurance wasn’t going to cover any of it since I didn’t have comprehensive coverage. (290,000 miles on the old dog)

I found my solution with a couple of our B93.3 advertisers. A huge thank you to Shipman Auto and Greenheck Auto Glass. I will be able to get this fixed for well under the cost of my initial fear.

So, if you are going to mow and mulch those leaves… be aware of what may be under that blanket of leaves out there. Thank goodness nobody was around where that rock headed. That would have been really bad. Remember safety third!

Banners over the large open window as the SUV gets cleaned up to have the replacement windows installed.