OMG-what's a homeowner to do with all those leaves?!! Yes, I remember I said I love to rake leaves but only once or maybe twice-not everyday! I swept the lawn with my lawn sweeper on Wednesday-in the rain. Came back from a pleasant Thanksgiving weekend and guess what? It doesn't even look like I did anything in the yard.
People who know me know I am not only a big gardener with ornamentals, but I am a big lawn person too. I guess you might say I somewhat obsess over my lawn. I was truly afraid leaving leaves on the lawn all weekend with rain in the forecast would cause some damage to the newly seeded grass. So in the rain I go to sweep it all on Wednesday. Mission complete, topped off with a nice hot shower on Wednesday.
Today was the day to get all the new leaves and pine needles up. The day started out great but while I was out running some errands, here came the rain-again! De-ja-vu all over. I really don't mind raking the yard in the rain just so long as it is not cold. Thankfully, I did not think it all that cold today, though Mr. Fix-it was not happy I was outside for over four hours. I think he felt obligated to come out though I assured him I did not need his help and this was really why he didn't want me in the yard today.
I got most of the yard raked by hand. I am very proud because I have a big yard and raking is hard work. I also have the blisters to prove I did it all by hand! No lawn sweeper today. I love hand raking because then I can really look at the grass and I can see an instant change when I rake. My Rebel Tall Fescue lawn is VERY green with all of this rain and is actively growing right now. Leaves smothering the grass would not do at all.
All raked leaves go into gardens. I usually run out of leaves though I have many, many trees. This year I think leaves will be scarcer, because of the freeze and drought the trees did not put out their full complement of leaves like usual. But there will still be plenty! Before the leaves go into gardens I lay down a layer of 5-6 newspapers over the soil. This extra layer of newspapers is the secret to my gardening along with the leaves. So many people use mulch without something under it, or worse yet, with black plastic under it, but they still have tons of weeds. The newspapers really block out the sun while still allowing water and air to pass through to the soil and effectively keep the weeds at bay. Any weeds that do grow through are easily pulled. Within one or two years the newspapers will decompose and add organic material back to the soil. I only use the black and white portion of the newspaper and couldn't garden the way I do without them.
I am in the process of trying to get up with a homeowner in order to receive permission to photograph their garden for my choice of "Garden of the Month". I have left a telephonic message so I hope they call me back soon! For now, I will be soaking in a HOT shower.
in the garden....