Field of Science

Leave the leaves? Not good gardening advice

TPP has seen three articles already (but failed to note their sources) that tell people to leave the leaves on their lawn rather than rake them.  This only works if you have very few leaves or want to transition your lawn to a woodland.  This is being done in our gardens in at least two places, purposely, and a lot of woodland plants occupy what passes for our lawn.  A thick layer of leaves, whole or chopped, would kill what little grass remains. The leaves in our lawns are confluent; they form a continuous layer inches deep, and more in some places.  So many leaves that a leaf gathering fence and a leaf capturing net are put up to keep tons of leaves out of our lily pond.  All the leaves are raked out of most of the gardens, and then vacuumed up and shredded, and reapplied if mulching is wanted.  This used to be done by yours truly with a machine called a Billy Goat; it was a beast, hard to pull start, and used about an 8 cubic foot bag, which was quite heavy.  And it was pricey to rent!  The right shoulder would complain the next day, and it was justified. Then Mrs. Phactor found a lawn service guy, who would do all that leaf work and it only cost $40-50 more than just the Billy Goat.  This did not take a lot of thought.  Except this year the leaves have been snowed on, and rained on, to keep them wet and matted down.  Fortunately the net was pulled off the pond and emptied of several cubic feet of water logged leaves before this latest wintery episode.  This takes the entire Phactor gardening squad, both of us, and then it was almost too heavy for the net.  But neither of us fell in, so that was good.  The next task will be to put fencing around all the young trees and shrubs to keep the rabbits from browsing on them.  Hopefully the weather will produce a couple of warmer days before the end of November.

1 comment:

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