We all know 2007 was NOT a good year for gardening. Fewer flowers, dead plants, fewer leaves to rake...What is so bad about fewer leaves to rake you ask? For me, it means fewer leaves in the garden as a mulch. I had to go somewhere else to get leaves and what a haul! Ten plus bags of beautiful maple, oak and bradford pear tree leaves-already in a great state of decomposition.
Since the leaves are already bagged and Mr. Fix-it brought them in his handy white truck, I feel like I have been shopping or just received a lovely gift. My friend Geri is short leaves so I may just have transport some of these bags of leaves over to the other side of the county to her home to make her feel like she just got a great gift too!
She primarily puts leaves in her compost bin, whereas I use mine as mulch over newspapers, then if I have any leftover I put them in the compost. Normally, with over 50 deciduous trees in my yard, you would think I have had more than enough leaves to spread around. This year I either used all the leaves very effectively, or there were less of them. I am thinking mainly there are much fewer leaves to go around.
When the big freeze came and took away all the new growth last April, it severely impacted all trees and especially deciduous trees. Once the initial set of leaves were frozen and died, the tree had to grow new leaves. These new leaves appeared to be much smaller than the first batch. The tree canopy was not as thick and there were probably fewer leaves. (though I didn't count them!)
Let's hope this spring is not a repeat of last spring. Contrary to popular opinion we really do NOT want an early spring. The late freeze in April of last year was not the problem, as late freezes are common and the average date of last frost in this area is around April 15th. No, the problem WAS an early spring. The weather warmed up rather quickly and stayed warm for about three weeks in March of last year. This led the trees into mistakenly thinking spring had sprung and out came the new growth and leaves. Weather like the warm March is not a usual occurrance. Late freezes are and we all know the consequences. So, I know I will not be a popular person, but let's not hope for an early and prolonged warm up prior to April of this year, then when that late freeze comes our trees will be not be harmed and we will have a full crop of leaves next fall-for more raking, mulching and composting!
in the garden....happily spreading some much needed bags of leaves-not sure if Geri is going to get any or not!