fall leaves for the garden

For weeks, the trees shower down buckets and barrels and boatloads of nutrition for the garden.

My fall leaf strategy is this: to avoid picking up a rake at all costs.  It’s a miserable chore best left to wives and children. But when wives and children are involved with leaves there will be carnage and destruction.

Instead, I sit on the riding mower listening to Steely Dan, blowing those suckers into a windrow where they’re re-chopped with mower blades until I’m satisfied.  This serves two purposes; to reduce the volume of the leaves and to increase their surface area (which in turn discourages matting and promotes faster decay).  Then out comes the pull-behind grass catcher, and viola.

This season those wonderful concrete-reinforcing-wire tomato cages will work for me during the cold months. They make perfect storage containers for chopped leaves.  Why should they lounge in the barn taking up space when they can store shredded leaves that’ll make awesome mulch in the early spring, when grass clippings are just a gleam in God’s eye?  The leaf towers also serve as a windbreak for my cold frames.

Plus they’re an attractive garden feature for the neighbors.  Or maybe not.

fall leaves and garden cold frames


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