childhood with the fall leaf

5. dubna 2012 v 8:30 | stefanieismine
When I was a little girl, fall wasn't a time to be sad about the summer's passing. It was a time to enjoy the freshness of the morning air, the warm autumn days and mostly, rejoice in the piles of crunchy fallen leaves that begged to be kicked around or made into tall piles specifically to be jumped into. As an adult, some things have changed. I land a little harder when I dive into a pile of leaves and I am the one who has to clean up the mess when I am finished playing, But that is not the change that I am talking about. As an avid Gardener my whole view of leaves and their purpose has shifted to one that benefits my garden and helps it to be more beautiful each coming year.

You may be wondering what I am talking about. Most people after all just shove falling leaves into a bag for the garbageman or their neighborhoods leaf recycling posts. In my time as a Home owner I have found there is a lot more you can do with your leaves and this often means saving the effort of carting them off your property each fall. My philosophy is to leave leaves be.

When I had grass, I would take my mower and finely Mulch the leaves in place. Did you know that there really isn't a scientific reason why you need to rid your grass of fallen leaves? By finely mulching the leaves on your grass, they will break down over the winter providing nutrients for your grass and shade the exposed soil enough to curb the onslaught of spring weeds.

If the thought of leaf mulch on your pristine grass keeps you up at night, collect your mulched leaves in the bag of your mower and distribute them onto your planting beds to create a nutrient rich mulch that will help your prized perennials from drying out in winter Chinooks. Leaves and leaf mulch in planting beds also provides a protective place for aphid eating ladybugs to over-winter.

If you have an excess of leaf mulch then bag it, but don't throw it to the curb. Leave your excess leaves by the Composter so that you have an ample stash of brown material to mix into your composter over the following 3 seasons. Brown and green are what your compost needs to create a healthy mix and browns are hard to come by in the green of spring and summer, so having a pile on hand will assist you throughout the year.

Of all the seasons, fall remains my favorite time of year. My love for the season and crunchy leaves has evolved to suit my life of gardening, living green and eliminating as much redundant work as I can. This fall, you too can forget the back breaking work of raking and instead take a few simple steps that will improve your view of fall by making leaves work for you.

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