Last fall I raked up the leaves a couple of times, but I wasn't able to get them all up before the snow hit. During the last few weeks things have gotten a bit warmer in Chicago and we've had some rain, which has melted most of the snow. Now my yard is covered with last fall's leaves, which, combined with the rain and having sat under the snow for two months, has covered most of the grass with a slimy mud-like substance.
So I am wondering: What should I do at this point to prepare the yard for spring? Is it safe to rake up all of the junk from the yard, or would I risk killing the grass? Is there anything else I should be considering/concerned about?
Thanks in advance,