I would like to chime in with my support of James Whalen’s opinion piece [Acoustical litter, Viewpoints, Sept. 18] and Julie Laney’s very articulate response of Sept. 25 [Oak Park should ban gas leaf blowers, Viewpoints]. I am retired and so am frequently at home during the day. Nearly all of my neighbors have lawn services, which come on different days of the week. Thus virtually every day, even with my windows shut, I can very clearly hear the noise of their equipment.
The big riding mowers are bad enough, but the gas leaf blowers are even worse. The noise just cuts through everything — TV, music, ear plugs. The irony is that blowers are both ineffective and bad for your lawn.
Ineffective: The leaves are merely blown in the street or, worse yet, on my property by careless workers. The next good wind simply blows them back on the lawns, sidewalks etc., sometimes immediately after the lawn service workers depart.
Bad for your lawn: By blowing instead of raking, thatch builds up in your lawn. A certain amount of thatch is good. But too much thatch causes excessive water retention that results in root rot. This tends to result in populations of disease-causing organisms, which are, of course, then treated by your lawn service with pesticides. The pesticides tend to bind to the thatch rather than migrate where they are needed. A good raking twice a year, fall and spring, helps maintain just the right amount of thatch.
The joke is that folks using a lawn service then have to pay extra to have their service “power rake” the lawn to correct the problem down the line. Try raking leaves into your flower beds which will protect your plants during the winter and break down to enrich the soil come spring.
Use excess leaves, combined with kitchen scraps, to create a compost heap, then top dress your lawn with the compost for a thicker, more weed resistant lawn.