FAQ: Do I have to rake fall leaves?
Nature drops fall leaves for a reason, and it’s not to give sightseers an excuse to tour the countryside. Those red, yellow, and gold gems will eventually decay to help fertilize the soil for the coming season. So, no, leaf raking is not a necessity.
Know, however, that the fall leaf drop can wreak havoc on stormwater systems. One should, at the very least, make the effort to keep those leaves well away from stormwater inlets and flow pathways.
Use a mulching mower to break up the leaf mat and accelerate biodegradation once that colorful blanket starts to fade.
If you can’t get through October or November without grabbing a rake, rough chop some of those leaves and use them to mulch planting beds and gardens.
The remainder can go to composting, of course. Add them to your backyard compost pile, or prep them for curbside collection following your municipality’s guidelines. And, please, do remove plastics, metal, glass, and other contaminants before moving those leaves to the curb.