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Leaf removal6 November 2012
Fall leaf removal is not only necessary from an aesthetic perspective but also from an agronomic perspective. Although turf grass growth slows or ceases this time of the year, the plant will continue to photosynthesize as long as the turf is green.
Energy in the form of carbohydrates captured and stored from photosynthesis will go to enhance root growth and accumulate in the storage compartments (nodes, crowns, etc) to be used the following year. Leaves left on the turf grass shade the turf grass leaves reducing the turf plants ability to photosynthesize.
Thus, the full potential to capture sunlight is greatly diminished when leaves are left on the turf. Additionally, if the leaves get wet, a microclimate under these leaves promote disease development.
The primary diseases that are favored by this environment are (also known as pink snow mold or fusarium patch) and powdery mildew. Thus, blowing or raking those leaves off the turf is an important fall agronomic practice.
Owning and taking care of a lawn mower is similar to owning and taking care of a car. If it is neglected, performance will suffer.