We have a layer of fallen leaves on our lawn and a mulching blade on our mower. I've heard that chopped up leaves can benefit a lawn. Are there limits to this benefit, or is it all good as long as you can mow through it and it doesn't leave a solid layer of "leaf lasagna"?
Rose, I think it would depend on how many leaves you got. We have a ton of trees, and we chop up the first ones that fall but have to remove the later ones because we'd end up with a really thick mulch which would kill our grass. The leaves are great for your compost pile as long as you mix it up occasionally, or they're good for mulching plants that need protection from severe temperatures.
How is your soil under the lawn? If it needs some building up, I'd run the mower over it twice and see how much mulch will go down into the grass blades. If other areas of the yard need mulch or compost more, I'd only go over it once and bag it and move it.
Thanks for your suggestions greenhouse_gal and pollengarden. We're thinking about raking up the larger volume of fallen leaves and then mulch-mowing in the remaining leaves. Hopefully we'll end up with enough leaves to help build the lawn soil, and not too much that it smothers the grass. It's a bit of a balancing act, isn't it?
SnowlineRose - I think your approach will work. I've noticed that some years the leaves fall off all at once, and in other years, they fall over a period of weeks.
If our lawn is covered too thickly, we mow them, if not, we leave them to feed the grass. I have never put fertilizer on the grass in the three years I've been here. Some areas have a few weeds, but over all, the grass is hanging in there! Personally, I would prefer low-growing ground cover - then we wouldn't need to mow at all :)
We're going to collect as many of our leaves as possible and use them to mulch our fig trees so they won't die back over the winter. When they do that we don't get figs that ripen in time to be edible!
We mowed the leaves into our lawn this weekend, and the mulching blade did a great job. I think I could hear our lawn singing a happy song. :) I moved a couple of wheelbarrows full to the pasture and mulch/mowed them in also. If you have any extra leaves, just send them on the wind to my pasture, and I'll mow them in, LOL.