Acorns Aplenty - bad for lawn?

scottalbiOctober 19, 2009

I live in a beautiful neighborhood with huge, stately pin oak trees, with "acorns aplenty". Some windy nights it's been like sleeping under a pinball table. Walking on the front yard is like getting a foot massage (wearing sneakers, and not bearfoot!).

Question: Is it "bad" to leave many (thousands) acorns on/in the grass? Will they make the soil too acidic perhaps?

Thanks!

Scott

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gucc2_in_ma(z5 MA)

Oh man, good luck. I used to have oak trees and here's the problems I had. They make the ground very bumpy for the lawn mower. And the worst, squirrels would dig a hole in the fall, fill it with an acorn, and then dig holes in the spring looking for the acorns buried in the fall. My yard used to be full of holes if I didn't rake them all up.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 5:13PM
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jeannie7

Across the road we have a stately black walnut....I swear its 50 feet across and at this time of year the squirrels are busy. Under the tree in one area, the homeowner has a tin roof affair over a patio and when the wind or the squirrels let loose the nuts, its heard all over the neighborhood.
Then we find them in our lawn, half buried but often high enough that the lawn mower finds them....clunk.
Acorns I would imagine fit nicely under a mower that they don't let their presence be known and might, can they, break open and start making little oaks.

I wouldn't worry about the slight acidic side of them, lawns do appreciate slight acidness.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 6:29PM
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rdaystrom

Acorns are a pain. Rake them up and send them to Ontario. They will do you no good whatsoever. In fact they tend to grind the turf up if walked on. Yes they will create new oak trees in the flower beds that you will have to pull up. Creating acid for a lawn is bad...not good...in my opinion. I have enough acorns every year to fill up an Olympic size pool. The only thing worse is Sweetgum balls. (seed pods)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 11:56PM
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rcnaylor(z7 Tex)

I just wish I could find something useful to do with them. They'd make great addition to the mulch pile if I had a yard shredder/grinder, but, since I don't, they are more trouble than they are worth, and the ones I rake and remove just go in the dumpster.

I guess no one ever promised keeping up a yard would be all fun. ha ha.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Billl(z7 nc)

I used to have a neighbor who would rake them into his drive and then run over them with his car to smash them before putting them in the compost bin.

As for leaving them in the yard, I guess it is a matter of degree. They are solid, so no grass can grow through them. That will make a little hole in the lawn. If you have a ton of them, then you will have a ton of little holes in the lawn. If you only have a few, you won't really notice it much.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 10:20AM
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jeannie7

rdaystrom.....on the contrary, if you look up any "lawn" site, it will explain that grass grows much better when given a slightly acidic nature...6.5 - 6.8.
Many homeowners think adding lime can counter what acidness their fertilizing does....and it does...over time.
But, given a preference, slightly acidic or slightly alkaline.....the acidness gets the nod.

Lawns that have a fair number of evergreens, with its accompanying needle fall, do not materially change the pH of a lawn to the extent that its acidness cause the grass problems. Not even an oak.

Leaving leaves on the lawn over winter....now that can cause problems. If the lawn is in poor shape, and you have an oak tree dropping its leaves and not cleaning them up....you can expect major problems in spring.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 4:01PM
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organicnoob

Making any recommendations as to altering the pH of a soil in either direction without knowing the current pH is pointless.

Rake up the acorns, in the end they'll do more harm than good to your lawn for all the reasons stated previously. If they come in contact with your lawn mower blade they can dull or nick it which is bad for your lawn too.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 5:41PM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

>"I just wish I could find something useful to do with them."

Maybe consider starting a new line of those sobakawa pillows, LOL???

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 11:46PM
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scottalbi

Thanks for all your input. I'm new to home ownership, and have a lot to learn. Sobakawa pillows! That's hilarious!

I collected about 25 gallons of acorns; will see how they work for traction on snow, if they don't rot first. Another 50 gallons awaits. What a racket they make falling on the roof!

A friend has a vacuuming solution involving a lawn mower... Perhaps reversing the blade and lowering the carriage? Will post results soon.

Scott

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 10:56AM
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rcnaylor(z7 Tex)

Snow traction. Interesting use.

Here the problem is we only get snow for a little while. Then, after the snow melts in a few days, they would be like marbles rolling on the concrete. I had one tree last year that had acorns about the size of golf balls. They were about like trying to walk on golf balls too, until I got them up.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 9:59AM
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