Return to the Lawn Care Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Oak Leaves problem(s)?

Posted by tpapa2001 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 10, 14 at 13:03

Hi All,
Hope all are well.
I have a question and hoping someone can help or point me in the right direction.

I have three oak trees in front of my house, two are on my property and the other is on my neighbor. I have St.Augustine lawn; over the years, the oak leaves are choking my lawn, I manually ranked under neat the tree as much as I could but it's time consuming and by the time I'm done with one tree, I'm wore out. These leaves are small so it slipped thru between the teeth; 10-15 stokes just to get a handful of leaves. Thus the grass under and around these oak trees are not doing very well.

I mulch mowed mine lawn as well, and I think this adds to the problem. This past weekend I decided to mow with a bag and collect the clippings. I managed to pick up some of the oak leaves but not as much.

Can I use a dethatcher attachment on my mower to help pick up the oak leaves/dethatch in these areas? Will this kill the grass? Photo below is from Google map and it's old, but it give you an idea of the area I'm dealing with. The other oak tree is located on the other side of the drive way.

Thanks in advance your advice.

T


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

Put away the rake and get a good leaf blower, you can clean a yard of leaves in a quarter the time that it will take you with a rake. PLUS your back will be in much better shape.

There are additional plus when you have a leaf blower. Cleaning the garage become a quick job. Gutters no problem. Gum balls, and many other jobs around the yard are facilitated by the use of a leaf blower.

There is one other job that the leaf blower can do. If you wash your car, and when you are done and you want to dry the car, get out the leaf blower and do it like the automatic car washes. There is no scratches on your paint.

I have used my leaf blower for all of the above jobs plus some others.


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

I have used both a rake and a blower successfully. You might have to linger with the blower to loosen the leaves if they are packed down.

Where do you live?
What is your watering regimen (how often and how long)?
How high/low are you mowing?
When were the last two times you fertilized and what did you use?
Have you topdressed with sand or soil in the past 10 years? How often and how much?


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

knuttle,
I do have an electric leaf blower and I used it as you described from drying my mini van to cleaning the garage floor and cobweb around the house. I've tried blowing the leaves but it wasn't as effective as I had hope. I'll give DCHALL's suggestion a try (linger the blower...)

DCHALL,
I live in SW Florida (zone 10a)
I water once a week for an hour.
My mower is set at the highest.
I had Scott lawn care people do the fertilizing and I'm not happy with their services. I since canceled their services. I plan to do the lawn care myself and I've looked into going the organic route.

I moved into this house 2 yrs ago and had the front lawn re-sodded, so there is no top dressing of any kind.

Watering once/week may be too much, feel spongy when I walked on the grass.


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

I have a 4 cycle Makita gas blower, I have used it successfully to blow leaves that were frozen to the ground. If the leaf blower does not have the power they are not capable of many task I use it for.

While growing the grass is great, the leaves will get into the grass whether you have a perfect lawn or one that is barely a lawn.

Some of the grasses allow the leaves to get down into the yard more so than some of the carpet grasses. I always try to mow the yard just before the leaves come down so there is less grass for them to get into.

I always use all of the leaves I can get for mulch on the flower beds. Some times I let them decompose, on other beds I rake them off in the spring and chop them up with the mower. I then blow the leaves back on the beds.

In this house we have a little over three quarters of an acre. I am guessing a couple of tenths of an acres area in flower beds, azaleas, camellias, crepe myrtle etc.

Some of the grasses allow the leaves to get down into the yard more so than some of the carpet grasses. I always try to mow the yard just before the leaves come down so there is less grass for them to get into.


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

Sounds like you're doing everything right, except the lawn fertilizer service, of course. Once you get the leaves up, I would follow up with some organic materials. One is corn meal at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. The other is molasses at a rate of 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. The molasses will stimulate the beneficial bacteria in your soil. The corn will boost the population of a beneficial fungus and should help 'densify' your grass.

Click here for the FAQ on organic lawn care. Read that and write back if you have questions. I wrote that a long time ago and some of it has changed. The general ideas are the same, though.


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

I've used corn meal to treat brown spots followed by alfalfa pellets. Problem is the difficulty getting feed grade cornmeal here. I checked all the feed stores in our area and none carry it. Last time I used food grade cornmeal, sounds wasteful or even unethical because there are people don't have enough to eat and here I am using it as fertilizer. The only place that I can get food grade cornmeal in bulk is GFS and I had to special ordered. Next best thing is cracked corn, I know the birds will love my yard... I'll be picking up some alfalfa this weekend. Should I pick up some soybean meal or cracked corn, since corn meal is hard to come by? Any thought on soybean meal/cracked corn? Jimmy probably don't care...


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

Soybean meal is a much better fertilizer than corn meal. As far as fungus goes, soy has not shown any of the ability corn has for getting rid of the diseases.

Cracked corn is fine for fungal control. Keep this in mind: some of the small particles of "cracked corn" are fully mature corn seed. So you might have some corn plants come up as weeds in your yard. Fortunately they die with the first mowing. ``That is why we go with ground materials. There are any number of inexpensive seeds or beans you can buy, but they will give you a weedy lawn before they do anything for the soil.

Most of the starvation in the world is caused by political agendas, not food shortages. We've sent plane loads of food into countries controlled by war lords who will not allow the people to have the food. Sending more and more food does not help. If you look hard enough at anything we eat or use, you can easily be disgusted at the waste of raw materials. Urea is an organic fertilizer; however, it is made entirely out of natural gas.


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

I live in the Raleigh Area, and we have just had the worst winter that I can remember in this area. If we are lucky we have one measurable snow and it is gone within a day.

This year we have had three, and the snow does not leave, I believe this year is a record for the days we have had snow on the ground.

As for you leaf problem and sore back, I have found a solutions.

Hire a teenage. they work for relatively cheap wages and they do a good job. It also helps support our teenagers. ;-)


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

Knuttle,

Thanks for the suggestion; unfortunately, I went ahead and used the blower and blew the leaves off the lawn as much as I could. I collected up two recycling bins and a big cardboard box full old leaves, there are more but this is all I can get to. I was going to pick up some soybean meal and alfalfa but ended up taking the family to the beach instead. A little windy but beautiful sunny day. I'll pick it up this weekend for sure!

Raleigh Area, as in Raleigh, NC? Hope you guys are doing alright.


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

That sounds like a good decision. My brother thought he was in heaven the other day as it got up to 28 and the sun was shining. (He lives in northern Indiana)

We had about 4" of snow on the ground twice this year, and early one that was about 1.5". The number is abnormal in my experience. What is really unusual in all three, is that there was some snow on the ground days after they fell.

For the middle one we left the day before and spent a week in Florida. That is the one the neighbor boys came over and shoveled our drive. Since my daughter was taking care of the house she was very appreciative of it.

It is suppose to be in the 70's towards the end of this week. It is time to get the blower out and take care of the abundant crop of gum balls. They do a great job of cleaning out the underside of the mower deck, but ............


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

dchall,
You're correct about the political agendas around the world...

knuttle,
What are gum balls? And you ended with 'but....." I take it's not so good for the blade? Sticky as the name implied?


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

Gum ball are from the Sweet Gum tree. They are found in the south and middle of the US. In the fall, the leaves turn several shades of red and purple . Each tree has a slightly different color. When cut or their leaves are crushed they produce a pleasant smell. All in all a very attractive tree for your yard.

They have one draw back. During the fall and winter they produce seeds pod that are about 1" to 2" in diameter. They are relatively hard. As I said we had an abundant crop this year, and there are so many on the ground it is like walking through a field covered with golf balls. When hit with a mower it is like hitting a golf ball with the appropriate noise and the potential for damage. I do not mind hitting one now and then, but as many as they are it is less stressful to blow them off of the yard.

http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/sweetgum.htm


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

Oak leaves.....I have been dealing with them my whole life. I currently have a dozen or so mature (aka huge) oaks. The volume of leaves I have every fall is mind boggling. The most efficient removal method I have used is as follows. Rake or blow leaves out of flower beds and away from the house and into the middle of each section of the yard being careful not to make piles. Then mulch the leaves with your mower going over them several times. Change your mower over to bagging and vacuum the mulched particles. You can then add this to your compost pile, bag them in tough contractor plastic bags, or if your and idiot burn the particles in the street next to the curb. Haha. By mulching first and then bagging, the volume of leaves is reduced at least 20 fold or more. The few leaf particles missed by the mower and left deep in the St. Augustine will be unseen, beneficial, and gone in a few days. The average city yard covered with leaves deeply will take 2 to 3 large bags if mulched enough. No big deal. It works. I've done it this way for years.


 o
RE: Oak Leaves problem(s)?

rdaystorm,
Thank-you for the advice, I appreciates all the advice given to this post.

I blew as much as I could to the drive way and then collect them in a recycling bins and cardboard box and such. I also tried vacuum with the mower into a bag, but this is not very effective because of not enough suction power. I might have to lower the mower to increase the suction?


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Lawn Care Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here