Sunday, November 30, 2014

Late Fall Chores

Meaning doing something with the leaves.   When you are surrounded by woods you get lots of leaves.  Since I persist in the 'civilized' approach to maintaining my property there's a lawn to maintain.  Not much of one -  I've tried to keep the lawn reasonably small - but it's there, the grass and its incessant demands, so the leaves must go. 

Then there's the moles.  They have gone insane this autumn, looking for the last worm or grub before winter.  I'm convinced that they have access to gas powered equipment.  No rodent that weighs a few ounces can to this much damage.  There are tunnels everywhere, those can be stamped down or rolled, but in places they break the ground and bring up so much dirt that the ground can't be leveled.

But back to the leaves.  It may seem a little late to rake leaves, and it is.  That's because the weather has been brutally cold for several weeks and the leaves were mixed with ice.  My leaves have two acts.  First the ashes and other trees drop their leaves.  Most of these can be ground up with the mulching mower.  Later the oak trees let go.  But not completely.  The pin oaks will hold on to some of their leaves until late winter then drop them on the snow.  They do this just to annoy me.

So this weekend the weather warmed nicely - a window of opportunity so to speak.  Saturday I raked the leaves into rows and let the sun dry them.  Today I raked the rows into piles and put them into the power shredder.  Filled the garden cart up with shredded leaves.  They (?) say that a shredder reduces the volume about tenfold.  That sounds about right judging by the size of the leaf piles before shredding. 

It's a lot of leaves but they will go to good use, into the compost pile then next year the garden beds.  Leaves don't have quite enough nitrogen to make good compost so I'll have to add some.  Their compost gives a nice addition of organic material to the soil.  I also use them to mulch the potato bed.  Unfortunately there are still enough leaves on the lawn to fill up another cart after shredding.  I'll do that the next time the weather lets me.


Daphne Gould said...

I so love leaves. I wish I had a shredder like you do though. Then I could get even more into my bins.

Mark Willis said...

I empathise with this! the scale of the problem is smaller for me , but it's still the same problem. I have an electric leaf-sucker / blower thing which shreds the leaves as it picks them up, but it only really works properly in dry conditions. When it is wet, the device gets clogged up.

Margaret said...

That mole damage is crazy! In our area, you can barely dig down a couple of inches without hitting a rock - a curse if your planting a tree, but now that I think of it, probably a blessing in disguise when it comes to moles/voles.

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