Leaves from chemically treated lawns


I’ve been sheet mulching (cardboard then soil) a few flower beds for spring on/over parts of my front lawn. I want to further cover them with fallen leaves but I’m finding myself a bit low on leaves this year (we lost an old maple this September) and I noticed that my neighbour has lots on his lawn.
However, he has one of those perfect velvet lawns – regularly treated by the Weed Man and I’m concerned – as I have asked to do so – if i use some fallen maple leaves from his lawn that there may be left over chemicals that will inhibit any growth of plants and flowers in my new spring beds. Is that a thing? Should I not use his leaves that I raked up?


Lawncare companies are commonly used in the GTA. They usually offer different services, which may include one or more of fertilizer programs, weed control, grub control and aeration, to name a few.  Different chemicals and other products would be used, depending on the program(s) provided.   I suggest that you speak with your neighbours and ask them for more details about the services their lawn care company provides them.  You may wish to call the lawncare company directly to ask which products they use on lawns and whether these might be a concern given how you wish to use the fallen leaves.

From a practical perspective, it is unlikely that the leaves have absorbed or adhered to chemicals used on the lawn, particularly in a concentration that would be toxic to your flower garden, or impair the growth of your plants.  Most products used by lawncare companies should dissipate with rain or watering over a few weeks.   And fallen leaves generally do not come into contact with lawns for extended periods.


If you have any doubt, don’t use the leaves – if you do and your garden does poorly next year, this could make for a strained relationship with the neighbours!