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Garden maintenance: lawn care and leave removal

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Hello. Thank you so much for this information! We made Aliyah 3 months ago are very confused with how to properly keep the laws of shemitah here in the holy land.

Question(s): (1) Can we mow the lawn (or have someone do it)? The seed grass grows too high for my little dog to comfortably do her business on the lawn. We recently mowed it, before I realized that this might be a problem for shemitah.

(2)  Can we remove dead leaves from the ground in the garden? Thank you again.


Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Good morning! Mazal tov. What a wonderful zechut to come to the Holy Land for the shemitah year! But it is also certainly overwhelming.

Rule of thumb for your garden: Maintenance and activities that will keep your lawn and plants aesthetic and alive are generally permissible, but those that encourage new growth are not.

Mowing the lawn

The lawn should be mowed regularly for maintenance, and not allowed to grow too high, because then mowing will encourage new growth.

Dead leaf removal

If there are dead leaves that fell on the ground from plants or trees, it is perfectly fine to remove them, as this does not encourage new growth.

You might want to check out our website for gardening (and other) information.

We also have a new book, The Consumer's Guide to Shemitah, which you will probably find helpful: