Don't do it. Don't do a massive fall clean up. Leave those perennials, let the rose hips fully set on the roses, don't cut down those grasses. The leaves? You can push them onto your beds. But whatever you do, don't bag them up and put them out at the curb: that's just plain silly.My latest Sassy Gardener column talks about the why and the how.
Take a rest people. You've earned it.Exhale.
I save some of my leaves for the compost, to be added during the winter months, as I add my kitchen scraps. Some go on top of my beds. Many are left where they fall! You make a good point...the critters out there need a natural nature to help them through.
I totally agree with the leaves staying in your garden to compost. But there are still perennials to divide, winter veggies to plant, cover crops to get in.
Not nearly as much work though as those Mar-Oct months. Plenty of time for pouring over seed catalogs, enjoying the preserves of summer, and dreaming of how much better the garden will be next year!
OK, I have so many leaves (4 HUGE 50+ year old pin oaks) that I have to rake some or else there will be absolutely no grass in my front yard come spring (leaving mud - not so great for four rambuctious hounds. I do however, put as many that will fit in my composting bin as possible, and then I truck the rest over to the wooded ravine across the street. (And some still always fall after the big cleanup, so I just run the mulching mower over them). So all in all, still work, but good for the environment.
I have about half an acre full of 45+ year old Oak and Maple trees. But I mulch them all with a special blade on my mower. I compost or just leave everything else.
I've always thought this was a good idea, although the two young deciduous trees (maples) on our property don't provide much in the way of mulch yet. But I think that this year I will ask the guy who mows our lawn (and rakes our leaves and the leaves of others) to give me a bunch of leaves. I really want to try using them as mulch!
Hip, hip, hooray for another reason to be a lazy gardener. With few exceptions, I save my clean-up until spring. I've found it to be much less work and better for the birds and insects who visit my garden. That it also gives me interesting winter scenes - I love grasses in the winter - is just a bonus.
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