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Get your mower runnin'

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: October 22, 2012

Lawn season is winding down, and leaf season is picking up.

Both of them involve your mower.

Ignore the old advice that says the last mowing of the season should be shorter than usual, Ohio State University turfgrass experts say in the most recent issue of OSU's Buckeye Yard and Garden Line newsletter. Rather than give the lawn a late-fall scalping, you should continue to mow at the proper height for your grass.

How high is that? The OSU Extension fact sheet "Mowers and Mowing" has a chart of recommended heights, plus lots of other good information on maintaining your lawn.

You can use your mower for more than grass cutting, too. Mowing over your leaves will chop them into fine pieces that you can leave on your lawn as nature's own fertilizer. As the leaves break down, they'll add nutrients to the soil. The leaves shred best when they're slightly damp, such as after a light dew, Fine Gardening magazine points out.

If the leaf cover is too thick, rake off some of the pieces and move them to your gardens and landscaping beds to enrich the soil there and protect plants over the winter. 

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