Leaves work for me

 

We’ve already had a few hard frosts and freezes, lots of leaves 2018rain, a snow flurry, too, so the leaves are withering here in the Seacoast of New Hampshire. The wind has been howling and leaves that were the color of caramel and bright yellow just a few days ago are now all brown. They are being blown from trees in great clouds, twirling through the air and become snagged in shrubbery and across lawns. I don’t see many oak trees around the neighborhood but when I look out the window, it looks all oak on the lawn. We have a small-ish yard now so the leaf work is small-ish. I do feel bad for those who must remove truckloads of leaves from their property.

This year, our association has decided to forego leaf blowing. That’s good and bad. The company hired to do leaves 2018the annual job comes with powerful blowers and blow away every last leaf along with an inch of the topsoil and mulch from the gardens. After witnessing this the first year I lived here, I’ve instructed them to skip my borders! Just the front lawn, please!

As the second most forested state in the country, New Hampshire has a whole lot of leaves. Already we have great piles in our neighborhood with more to come. Piles of leaves left on lawns over the winter isn’t a good idea for grass. Some leaves are fine but the piles that I see from my window can create grass killing conditions. We’ll see what the association plans to do. It may be lawn mower mulching or it may be nothing, then tackle the problems it causes in the spring.

My mother didn’t remove all leaves but had the niftiest leaf Electric Leaf Shredder 2018shredder for fall lawn cleanup. The tiny mulched leaves were then returned to the earth. I wish I had one for excess leaves on the back lawn but I don’t. I rake them from the lawn. But I leave all that fills my borders unless I see signs of leaf disease. Where I have mulch is where the leaves remain… under shrubs and around perennials. Leaves serve as an insulator and return organic nutrients to the soil.

Maybe our gardens don’t look as pristine and clean as neatly blown borders but our leaves also provide a valuable habitat for insect species. There are butterfly caterpillars and eggs in there, and queen bumblebees, spiders, beetles and more.  In late spring, I remove some leaves after the bumblebees are active but sometimes I mulch right over the leaves.

It’s a very good thing!

15 thoughts on “Leaves work for me

  1. Foliar debris from redwoods is too abundant to rake completely. It covers the ground and makes a thick mulch that prevents most weeds from growing through. We only rake it from lawns and from areas where we need to plant things such as bedding plants. There are not many lawn or bedding plants under redwoods of course. There are not many deciduous trees among redwoods either.

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  2. Fall is not my favorite season, and Mother Nature chuckles. I don’t bother with leaves on the beds in the fall, but I know that spring will require days of raking to get them off. I’ve considered a mower that would mulch them and actually went looking for one only to realize once they pull the first snow blower out, the last mower disappears. Another spring project. 🙂

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    • I was thinking of you when I mentioned truckloads of leaves in my post. What a monumental job facing you every fall. I’ve no idea what the solution is for you….except to escape to the South Carolina’s beaches.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s always hard to decide which way is best. We remove most of them. We’ve tried every option. Our town mulches this in a central location and residents are free to draw from the mulch pile next year.

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