Paul in Arlington writes, “I over-seeded my lawn recently, got the seed down just in time, and have 2- to 3-inch sprouts all over my lawn. Now I’m wondering how to strike the delicate balance between not walking on the tender new shoots and mowing the sections of established grass that need it and raking the leaves that have started to fall on the lawn. Any suggestions?”
Yes, Paul. Delay the mowing as long as you possibly can, do not cut lower than 3 inches and make sure the grass and soil are as dry as possible when you mow. Having the mower blade sharpened first would be a great idea.
Whole leaves should never be allowed to smother any turf, but do not rake new grass. Either use that newly sharpened mower blade to mulch the leaves back into the lawn or suck the leaves up with a leaf blower that has a reverse setting and a collection bag.
Then, use those shredded leaves to make compost or mulch.
Fall leaves are the greatest gift your garden can receive