This Year’s Leaves … Next Year’s Mulch

by David Murray

It’s Monday evening. With my responsibilities as a church elder and lay preacher I can’t say that the typical Sunday is anything like a “day of rest”, so when at all possible I take Monday off to relax. It’s one of the advantages of being self-employed, although today I’m not sure that “relaxation” is quite the word.

Looking out of the window this morning I realised that although I’d cleared the leaves off the lawn a week ago it was again more than ankle deep in places. The leaf blower is out of action so out from the garden shed came the lawn mower. I set the blades as high as they’d go, as I didn’t want to cut the grass again at this time of year, and started to “hoover” up the leaves down the long grassy avenue of trees which runs to the road from the main body of our garden along the full length of the fence dividing us from our neighbour, the village churchyard. We have trees on both sides, ours to the right and the churchyard trees to the left, and so an enormous volume of leaves.

I’d scarcely started when “chug, chug … chug ….. chug” and the motor stopped. Out of petrol! After a cup of coffee I thought, “No, I don’t feel like going for petrol; I’ll do it the old way; I’ll sweep the leaves.” Hard work, yes! But I suppose it will have done me good to use muscle instead of brain for a while.

The other, longer-term benefit of this strenuous activity will be seen in about a year’s time when I can use the mulch from the composted leaves. I decided that I needed a bigger place to compost the leaves this year, so back to the garden shed for the reel of wire netting which has been sitting there for a year or two waiting for some constructive use, and now I’ve got an eight foot long leaf mould “bin” with netting walls and three quarters full of leaves, with more still to fall. It really doesn’t make sense to waste the leaves and lose all the lovely leaf mould that should now be produced over the coming year.

More on leaf mould at www.gardening-notes.com/articles/ .

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