So! We're not alone in grabbing every fall leaf for our garden


We mentioned stealing peoples' raked leaves, and you said:


I'm stealing leaves, too. It's easy since nobody else on my street uses their leaves, just rakes them into a pile in the street. Duh. -B.C. -

As we did last year, we hauled almost 100 bags of maple (and some oak) leaves from our neighbors' curbsides to haul in our mini-van back to our yard. We dumped them 8" thick on the raspberry patch after the canes were cut down, in several large compost piles, around new trees  and shrubs, and in areas where we're trying to encourage new perennials and ground covers on our clay soil on our back hill, where 30 mature dead ashes and elms were removed a couple of years ago.

Our hill is becoming fertile and very receptive to wildflowers self-seeding.

...I returned the empty leaf bags to those who wanted them back or to others who still had a lot of leaves to rake.

One caution, though....I opened up a bag of leaves that had been sitting for a while in damp weather, and inhaled a cloud of mold spores and got a cough and raspy voice soon after...

We heap leaves and hedged-down foot-high eulalia (a.k.a.Miscanthus) grasses around our roses, and top those heaps with compost. We also tied up the "All Summer Beauty" hydrangea with a spiral of twine, wound some 2' wide chicken wire fencing around it to 4' high, and dumped in leaves for winter protection... - L.N. -


Pictured at the top of this page, one of our gardens in fall after we've raked all the neighbor's leaves onto it. It's about 6 inches deep in leaves.

Below, that same garden the next spring. No, the leaves did not blow away. They have, however, crumbled and decayed by half. The plants in the bed are fine and loving it.



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