Remember no mow May? The idea was to let the lawn grow and let weeds bloom so that pollinators would have food. Let’s make this October no rake October. I rake some of the leaves in my own yard because I need them for compost. I used to clean up my garden in the Fall but after learning that the debris provides a habitat for hibernating pollinators I started leaving it until early May.
You don’t need to rake all of those pretty leaves. There are a few reasons not to. The leaves provide shelter and even food for animals like chipmunks, box turtles, and earthworms. Butterfly pupae use the layers for protection as they grow over the chilly months.
As the leaves decompose (no, they won’t litter your lawn forever), they form a natural mulch and help fertilize the soil. They can be mulched with the lawnmower next spring.
Leaves do not belong in the trash. If you must rake take the leaves to a compost site. Personally, I like to photograph the leaves.