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Guide to Using Fall Leaves

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by eeyore, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. eeyore

    eeyore Monkey++

    Garden Plot
    Guide to Using Fall Leaves
    10/23/08 04:52

    Nature's Leaves: Your Free Pass to a Great Garden!

    Finally! The season of leaf collecting is here! That endless flutter of leaves hitting the ground isn't an annoyance, a chore or anything else even remotely negative. Those leaves are all you need to mulch your garden and landscape correctly, feed all of your plants (even your lawn!) and recycle all the nutrients in your coffee grounds and other kitchen waste. All you need to do is collect them correctly! And all you need to do that is to shred them up.

    That's THE most important aspect of harnessing this annual bonanza from Nature. Whole leaves take up a lot of room, and they tend to mat together so badly they can actually smother your poor plants when used as a mulch. But shredded leaves take up less than one-tenth the room, make compost quickly, and are a ready-made weed-preventing, water conserving, earthworm-inviting mulch.

    Don't Blow; Suck!

    It's time to take advantage of the fabulous leaf fall that Nature provides every year. And many of you already have the perfect tool to do so: The ubiquitous leaf blower! Yes, when you use it as its name describes, you make that name come true. But virtually all of these machines come with a reverse setting, a different nozzle and a collection bag. Swap out the nozzles, attach the bag, hit the switch, and the leaves will be sucked into the bag instead of you blowing them onto your neighbor's driveway so he can come out and blow them back onto yours. And a built-in shredder chops up the leaves, making them perfect for composting, mulching and storage; because it reduces their volume by a factor of ten to twenty. That's right! You can save the shredded equivalent of ten to twenty bags of whole leaves in just one bag! So stop blowing and start sucking!

    Fall Leaves = God's Fertilizer

    Fall leaves contain all the nutrients that your gardens and landscape require. Tree roots reach deeper into the earth every year, drawing up minerals and nutrients they couldn't reach the year before. This incredible source of plant energy travels up through the tree and into the leaves, where sunlight supercharges those nutrients. Then these filled to the brim with energy leaves drop down to the ground at the end of the season, returning those improved nutrients to the soil.

    For untold millennia, this incredibly perfect perpetual motion machine grew every plant on the planet; every plant we gardeners now enjoy---fed the great hardwood forests of the Northeast, the incredible fields of wildflowers and the grasses of the Great Plains. Forget stressing your plants with the concentrated chemical salts in things like Miracle-Gro, Osmocote and Peter's. The leaf fall we enjoy every Autumn is God's perfect fertilizer. Please don't drag those leaves to the curb and throw them away!

    …And Don't Even THINK About Burning Them!

    There are lots of things you can do with the wonderful leaves falling all around us. Suck them up with a leaf blower set on reverse and use the shredded leaves to mulch your garden beds and perennial plantings.

    Pour the shredded leaves into bins to make premium compost. Yes, you can mix some coffee grounds and vegetable waste in there as well, but you don't have to. Shredded leaves make fabulous compost all on their own. Run them over with a mulching mower and let the pulverized leaves feed your lawn.

    Use your mower to bag up a run of leaves and grass clippings and make compost from that perfect mixture. Just PLEASE don't burn them.

    Burning leaves wastes all the inherent energy they have for growing plants.

    It creates air pollution and sends your poor neighbors with asthma to the hospital when the smoke suddenly fills their house through all the windows they opened to enjoy this previously wonderful fall day.

    And it accelerates global warming.

    I think it's awful when people throw their leaves away at the curb. But burning them is nothing short of criminal.

    Use Your Leaves; Don't Abuse Them!

    The leaves falling all around us are your opportunity to have the happiest, healthiest, most natural garden and landscape you've ever had.

    Use a leaf blower set on reverse to suck up and shred this bounty in one swoop. Pour the shredded leaves into pre-built composters or big circles of animal fencing. Come Spring, the bottom will have become rich black, plant feeding compost, while the shredded leaves on top will make a great alternative to the nasty wood mulches that stain homes and kill plants.

    Fill a bin with shredded leaves and recycle your coffee grounds and vegetable waste into it; you'll make primo compost for next season.

    If the leaves fall on your lawn, just mow over them with a mulching lawnmower; the result will give your turf a nice natural feeding. Or mow and bag up that perfect mixture of dry browns and green grass clippings and pour the contents of the bag into a compost bin!

  2. overbore

    overbore Monkey++

    Just for the fun of it

    Burning leaves and Napalm in the morning soothe the soul of the warrior--

    OO Overbore
  3. adkpete

    adkpete Monkey+++

    Good dry leaves make excellent litter for chickens and other small livestock. You have to collect them and store them in plastic bags.
    You can than till the leaves and manure directly in your garden or compost them
  4. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    diced them up and tilled them in this year,We'll see how that turns out... for the tomatos
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