Don't Bag Them! Don't Rake Them! MULCH THEM!
Instead of raking leaves and putting them curbside, save yourself time, energy and money. Mow your leaves with a mulching mower. If you have a servant who does your yard work for you, ask them to use a mulching mower.
This is also a business opportunity for Lawn services. A mulch mower reduces the labor intensive and time-consuming work of raking and/or blowing leaves and also the expense of plastic bags to hold them. You can advertise your company as "eco-friendly"--always a plus these days as more people are waking up to the relationship between a clean environment and their health.
You don't have to worry about what your neighbors will think. The tiny brown bits of leaves fall down through the grass and are not seen. After a few years of mulching your leaves, you won't have to worry about dandelions. There! You can even stop paying the pesticide man to douse your lawn with chemicals--most of which end up either polluting our groundwater or being carried out with the stormwater runoff to pollute our streams. The decomposing leaf bits cover the ground in between the grass plants and prevent weeds from growing. A Michigan State University study found a decrease of almost 100% of dandelions, crabgrass, and other weeds in lawns after only three years of mulching.
Can you use a regular mower to mulch leaves?
Yes, you can but it won't be as efficient as a mulching mower. Unlike regular mowers, the mulching blade of a mulching mower spins leaves and grass more than once to cut it into very tiny pieces. If you use a regular mower, set it to a high setting and mow the leaves without a bag attachment. The pieces will be larger, but clearly that would be preferable to having un-mulched leaves on your lawn.
Won't mulching contribute to thatch build up?
NO! Thatch is formed when roots, stems and leaves of grass build up faster than they decompose. Proper mowing, irrigation and fertilization will prevent thatch buildup. Over-fertilization is the primary culprit for thatch build-up.
You can purchase a mulching mower at just about any hardware store that sells garden tools and supplies. The price for these mower is about in the same range as the prices for a regular lawn mower. If you have a lawn service, make sure the equipment they use for mulching leaves is indeed a mulching mower (or is a regular lawnmower that is fitted with a mulching mower blade). The best way to tell is to look at the size of the pieces of leaves mulched by the mower. The pieces should be tiny enough to quickly disappear down into the soil of your lawn.