Cottage Gardening forum: Leaves in... or leave them out?

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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Oct 14, 2012 7:24 PM CST

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Leaves are falling fast in my neck of the woods, so I'm grabbing an hour here and there to rake them up. If I have the time I'll chop them up with the push mower and add them to my beds; if not, I toss them in whole.

How about Y'all? Do you like to add fallen leaves to your beds, or do you prefer to clean them out?

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Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Oct 14, 2012 10:24 PM CST
DH puts raked leaves in a pit & as they turn to compost puts them on the beds. Chopped leaves are better as big bunches of leaves can hold too much moisture.
[Last edited by irisarian - Oct 17, 2012 9:03 AM (+)]
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Name: John Dyer
Louisville , Ky
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oldherbacious
Oct 15, 2012 3:35 PM CST
We are just getting into leaf season here. I have a 5 hp shredder which I no longer use. At 72 its just too dangerous. We have a great recycle system here. There is a yard waste truck that comes around once a week. I buy finished compost for 10 dollars a truck load.
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Oct 17, 2012 2:48 AM CST
Its so windy here our leaves go somewhere else.We get a kartload of composted leaves from the town and spread that on the gardens.Its a year mature when we get it.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Oct 17, 2012 5:53 AM CST
I rake them onto the flower beds.
Calgary has leaf and pumpkin drop off sites where these are collected and then composted.
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Oct 17, 2012 7:21 AM CST
If we pile ours up at the curb,the town comes for it.They have to be seperated tho, Garden debris,limbs ,branches are seperate from leaves.
Town residents can get a trailer and get their own from the town or there is a guy who will bring a load for $50.00 load is 5 yards.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Nov 11, 2012 5:15 PM CST
Unless we can mulch ours, I just rake and bag them. Otherwise, they are just too thick and form a heavy mat that is not good for the plants. I have some areas where we get leaves at least 12" deep (sigh....) Mulched leaves are wonderful though, and I make sure to keep several large yard-bags full to use throughout the growing season.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
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chelle
Nov 11, 2012 5:50 PM CST

Moderator

Sounds good, Linda. Thumbs up

We had a dry autumn here, so we didn't get to save very many leaves; a lot of them just blew away. Most of the ones we did save are already in the beds. Smiling I'm actually beginning to feel ready for winter; hopefully, it'll be a snowy one.
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Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
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ge1836
Nov 12, 2012 3:39 AM CST
Chelle: I want a snowy winter too.and a spring that comes as it's supposed to.
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Nov 13, 2012 8:55 AM CST
I never have enough leaves! I chop them up and pick them up with my lawnmower and mulch. It's a rural area so we don't have a composting place but there is a leaf and wood dump. I take a trailor and pickup and get a couple of loads. More if I get opportunity. I put stacks of bags around the small fruit trees so the deer don't get them. They had already started on them before I had a chance to get them this year. Grumbling We also till them into our vegetable gardens in both spring and fall if there's opportunity. My husband fell of a scaffold when he saw working on our garage and shattered his wrist Sad so I haven't had time to do much work in the garden so the tilling will have to wait till spring this time. I did go get leaves though Whistling nodding
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Nov 13, 2012 9:40 AM CST
I hope that he heals rapidly.
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Nov 13, 2012 4:38 PM CST
Thanks, I hope so too cause sitting around isn't something that he does well. Whistling Whistling
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Nov 14, 2012 5:28 PM CST
Sue--sending healing thoughts to your husband.

I had my beds cleaned today by the guys that cut our yard. I'm so thankful not to have to spend hours and hours raking leaves out of my beds and digging them out of my shrubs and plants. I did bag up just enough that I'll use in the spring for mulching various things, and adding to my compost pile.

NancyJ
Nov 14, 2012 9:18 PM CST
Leaves in by all means. They are full of nutrients and help protect things for winter.Thumb of 2012-11-15/NancyJ/35229f
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Nov 15, 2012 4:57 AM CST

Moderator

Hi, Nancy!

Welcome! to ATP and the Cottage Gardening forum. We're glad to have you join the fun!




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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Dec 3, 2012 7:05 PM CST
oldherbacious said:

>> I buy finished compost for 10 dollars a truck load.

I'm envious!

Around here, "Cedar Grove Compost" gets town biosolids for free, plus municipally-collected yard waste (allegedly for free), then composts them a little more and LOADS it down with sawdust and wood products. It looks and smells like woody mulch.

But they sell it at huge prices by the bag, or around $30 per yard plus delivery charges that can add anything from another $30 to sky's-the-limit.

Maybe I shouldn't bash them more than anyone else. I recently saw an ad for $27 / yard sawdust, plus a $90 delivery fee. Maybe I just have trouble adjusting to inflation and urban prices, but that sholuldn't be an ad, that should be an apology!

Instead I buy big-box store bags of "manure mix" for $1.25 / cubic foot. It might be #35 per yard that waqy, plus my gas, but at least it isn;t 80-90 wood!

Linda said:
>> I have some areas where we get leaves at least 12" deep (sigh....)

If you can mix or even top-dress with something high in nitrogen, those might decompose down to 1-2" of humus in a month or two. For example, coffee grounds or fresh grass clippings.

It might even be worth it to buy a bag of urea (cheapest concentrated form of nitrogen, 46-0-0) and scatter it very thinly over those deep leaves.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Indiana Dog Lover Container Gardener
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mom2goldens
Dec 6, 2012 7:59 PM CST
That's a great suggestion, Rick. Unfortunately, the areas where my leaves fall most heavily are right over other shrubs and plants. They are so thick they just weigh everything down and actually splay the branches of the shrubs. My only recourse is to remove them. If I knew then what I know now, I would have seriously reconsidered my landscape plan Sad
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Dec 7, 2012 3:42 AM CST
oldherbacious said:We are just getting into leaf season here. I have a 5 hp shredder which I no longer use. At 72 its just too dangerous. We have a great recycle system here. There is a yard waste truck that comes around once a week. I buy finished compost for 10 dollars a truck load.


Wow! That's great! We don't have that ( "I buy finished compost for 10 dollars a truck load" ) here.

Thumbs up

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Dec 7, 2012 3:43 AM CST
Welcome! Nancy!

Happy to have you at ATP and the cottage garden forum! Hurray! Thumbs up
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Dec 10, 2012 5:09 PM CST
>> fall most heavily are right over other shrubs and plants

Ugh! Bad enough that leaves can smother grass,

I was going to ask if you can use a leaf blower to rescue the buried plants, but I see you have an even better method:

>> I had my beds cleaned today by the guys that cut our yard. I'm so thankful not to have to spend hours and hours raking leaves out of my beds and digging them out of my shrubs and plants.

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