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How To Pick Up Leaves With A Lawn Mower - Find Out Here!

Written by William
Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Can I Pick Up Leaves With a Lawnmower?

Having trees around your lawn can mean a lot of excess leaves are sprinkled around your garden, making it look messy and taking time to rake, leaving you wondering, can't I pick leaves with my mower?

Well, the answer to that is yes, you can, matter of fact you can pick the leaves from your garden in two ways with your mower. The first one is by mulching the leaves into compost with grass clippings, and the second is by collecting them with the grass bag attached to your mower.

We have gone into some further detail below about how to pick leaves from your garden with a mower, as well as how to use these leaves once picked and when you should leave them.

So without further chat, let's get into it!

How To Pick Up Leaves With a Mower

As we touched on above, there are two main ways to pick up leaves with your mower, one is by mulching and the other is by using the grass bag on your mower.

Mulching Leaves

Mulching leaves can be a great way to add nutrients to the soil of your lawn when combined with grass clippings, it also saves raking them up and allows you to work faster.

To mulch the leaves from your mower you can do this without bagging it or with a bag depending on what you want, you should always be careful to avoid large patches of mulch however from dense areas with leaves and additionally make sure they are mulched into coin-sized pieces.

Bagging Leaves

An alternative method to mulching your gardens leaves is bagging them. Bagging the leaves is the best for when they are too dense to mulch or you want to avoid picking them by hand.

Simply use the grass bag on your mower and mow the lawn at the same time while picking the leaves, or, set your lawnmower to a high position to avoid cutting the grass and let it only pick the leaves instead.

Wet Or Dry Leaves - Which Is Better?

You might be wondering what is better for mulching and picking, wet or dry leaves.

Both leaves have their advantages and disadvantages, but drier leaves tend to be the best for mulching.

We have listed out the pros and cons to each below so you can choose what suits you and your leave picking/mulching best.

Wet Leaves

Wet leaves may create less dust when being mowed in comparison to dry leaves but do have a lot of disadvantages such as the potential to clog your mower up, stick in the bag of your mower, create big mulch clumps and place strain on your mowers system.

Choosing to mulch/pick wet leaves is overall not ideal, and you should leave them to dry out slightly to make yours and your mowers life easier.


  • No dust when mowing.


  • Can clog the mower.
  • Creates mulch clumps.
  • Sticks to grass bag.
  • Puts strain on your mower.

Dry Leaves

Dry leaves on the other hand are a much better option than wet leaves, yes, you may need to wear a mask when mowing them due to the dust, but they are much easier to handle and rake when mulched.

They also empty and break down easily into your grasses soil, making your lawn look neater if you choose not to bag the mulch.


  • Easier to bag.
  • Makes better mulch.
  • Looks neater.
  • Does not clog up the mower.


  • Creates a lot of dust so a mask will be needed during mowing.

Can I Leave Leaves On My Lawn Without Picking Them?

Of course, if you have a small number of leaves on your lawn you don't need to constantly mulch them or pick them with your grass bag, matter of fact, you can just leave them on the lawn, and they will break down eventually acting as a natural fertiliser for your soil.

You should think about picking or mulching the leaves in your garden when the volume of the leaves becomes too much and starts to affect the health of your garden.

Lots of leaves can stop sunlight from getting to your grass, leaving it healthy in some patches and dead in others, so knowing when the leaves are too much is crucial to having a well-kept lawn.

What Can I Use The Leaves From My Garden For?

If you are left with too many leaves on hand, you probably wondering what you can use them for apart from mulching and using them as a natural fertiliser.

We have listed out a few other uses below to give you some inspo.

Help Younger Plants

Dry leaves can be used as a protective layer for young plants and shield them from the cold. Sprinkling these leaves around your younger plants roots in the soil during the winter could help to stop them from freezing.

Use As Kindling

If you have a campfire or want to make a small fire at home, having dry leaves on hand, stored in a bag, can be an easy way to start a fire.

Just ensure these leaves are collected in a dry place as when they get damp they won't work as kindling.

Add To Compost

Shredding your dry leaves is a super ingredient for compost and can be used to create a great homemade fertiliser for the soil of your lawn and help increase the growth of your grass at home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using a Lawnmower To Pick Up Leaves

Should I pick up leaves during winter? 

You should always make sure to remove as many leaves as you can before winter on your garden. If you don't remove leaves before this season you risk getting brown patches or 'snow mould' on your lawn which could affect the overall quality of your lawn.

What other ways can I get rid of leaves without my mower? 

If you don't want to pick or mulch leaves with your mower, you could use a rake, leaf blower (which will both require you to pick them with your hands) or a leaf vacuum.

How much leaf mulch should I leave on my lawn?

Ideally, you should only leave no more than 1-inch of this mulch on your lawn, leaving more can suffocate your grass and make it harder for the rain to wash it down, you should also ensure that the mulch is spread evenly over your garden with a rake.

Last Words

To conclude, fallen leaves can be picked up very easily with your mower, whether you decide to pick them with a grass bag, or mulch them on to your lawn as a fertiliser.

Always ensure that you mulch and pick dry leaves, as this will be easier, and make sure to do this before winter too, so as you can avoid leaves rotting your garden over the colder season.

About the author
Written by William
I have always had a passion for gardening and that with a background in selling lawn mowers for the past 10 years, I have become very knowledgeable in all types of gardening tools. The site was created as a hub where I can review and write about all of the tips around gardening.
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