Gardening 2018

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Bill_G
Posts: 450
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:10 am
Location: Portland OR
Occupation: I work at being pleasantly surprised everyday.

Re: Gardening 2018

#201

Post by Bill_G » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:47 am

I'm still recouping from a pulled back muscle that prevents me from bending at the waist. (ugh) It's dreary out. Oregon Fall is officially here, and any day now we will begin the Oregon Rain Festival where we count the number of consecutive weeks without sunshine. Totally overcast, cool, and dripping, but you could stand in it all day and not get soaking wet. I had to get outside so I wouldn't turn to stone unable to move at all. So, I began the annual leaf scrounging on a minor scale with the aid of my two mechanical pals, Mr. Blower and Mr. Mower, aka Team Lawn Hoover.

I compost all my yard debris except wood bigger than one inch diameter. I see no point in paying for fertilizer and water only to throw it away every time you mow, trim, deadhead, or cut back. Just stack the debris in the lawn. Your last task of the day is to mow it all up, and put it on the compost pile rather than the curb.

The mower chops it into tiny pieces taking months off the decomp process, and the same applies to gathering Fall leaves. While everyone else is raking them up, stuffing paper sacks, and lining the curb, I'm blowing leaves off the street into the yard, Hoovering them up with the mower, and piling the milled leaves on the flower beds. It's excellent protection against the upcoming freezes, it feeds the beds next year, blocks weeds, and by July they are a whisper of their former state. And there are no tipping fees, no trips for big bags, and no back breaking raking. Let the blower and the mower do the work.

The process also feeds the lawn. It makes a BDM (big damn mess). The mower bag fills up quickly. If your mower deck is set too low, the chewed leaves will choke the mower and stall it. So, raise it a bit so they discharge out the sides. Some will go in the bag. Some will spread hither thither and yon getting filtered into the lawn as you make multiple passes. As the bag fills, empty it on a nearby flower bed, or around a base of a tree or lamp post. You can apply it thickly to create a distinct demarcation between the lawn and the beds.

Between the mower action, the compaction of the piling on the beds, and biology, the chopped leaves will become a fairly solid mass that will stay in place. Your hardy annuals will grow through it, but weed seeds will have little success getting started. Earthworms and other soil fauna will feed on it, and their detritus will in turn feed the plants. This simple effort of piling leaves on a bed has more benefits than most people realize. And it's light enough work, you can do it without aggravating a back injury while promoting flexibility.

It's a win-win all around.



User avatar
Bill_G
Posts: 450
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:10 am
Location: Portland OR
Occupation: I work at being pleasantly surprised everyday.

Re: Gardening 2018

#202

Post by Bill_G » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:59 am

Everyone that got their garlic planted over the weekend, raise your hands!!! :sterngard:



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