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Why Raking Your Leaves Really IS Important

It’s that time of year again: a slight chill creeps into the air, pumpkin-flavored products pop up at your favorite cafes, and you notice the slightest color change in the leaves outside your office window. Once they fall off, the red, orange, and mustard-yellow ground covering might look nice for a few days, but it’s actually very important to get those large piles of leaves off the ground as soon as possible for several reasons.

Save Yourself from Mold and Fires

It’s something you probably don’t want to think about, but mold will grow on the dead leaves in your yard. This insidious substance will grow anywhere it’s damp, and before the first frost of the fall kills it off, leaves and old grass trimmings you’ve thrown away after mowing are fair game for mold’s new home. If you think this sounds unhealthy, you’re exactly right: mold is a top fall allergen and can cause everything from a runny nose to a full-blown asthma attack.

Alternately, dry leaves accumulating underneath parked cars can become a major fire hazard. Keep your family safe by clearing out the mold’s habitat before it begins to stake its claim in your yard.

Prevent Slips and Falls

Do you live with small children, elderly parents, or disabled individuals who are prone to falls and accidents? Do you like to exercise outside? A giant pile of leaves by the garden probably won’t hurt anybody, especially if the rest of the yard is raked clean, but a thick layer of leaves on wet concrete or asphalt is potentially dangerous. Prevent accidents on the driveway by clearing out wet, slippery leaves.

Create Food for Your Garden

It sounds counter-intuitive to rake a bunch of dead leaves into your garden, but it’s actually one of the best things you could do to help your plants grow. Dead leaves contain several beneficial microorganisms that can help rejuvenate your garden soil for the fall and the upcoming spring growing season. Till the fallen leaves into your soil, and if you’re feeling creative, you can even shred them first to make the resulting mix look more aesthetically pleasing. If you have a mold allergy, though, be careful with this one: Increased contact with the leaves might trigger a sneezing episode!

If you want to prevent your yard from looking like a forest or just looking to prevent accidents and injuries, make sure to rake up the piles of leaves scattered under your favorite trees. Your kids might be disappointed, but you can rest assured that your house — and its inhabitants —will be healthier, safer, and happier for it.

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