In case you have not heard the news, its Fall. The air is finally crisp at night, the trees are turning and the leaves are falling. It would be wonderful if the leaves would just fall all at once so we only had to rake once or if they would just all fall in one little spot. That’s not how dead leaves work.
Well I have started to wake up just a bit earlier every morning and do a bit more of yard work on a daily basis. I have a leaf blower that also vacuums and slightly mulches the leaves into a bag attached to the leaf blower. I got it out twice already this fall. Well it looks like I am going to be using it daily until winter. I tell my husband that I am going to vacuum the patio, we giggle about it. I have never used it to blow the leaves. I collect and mulch them and use them to winterize the garden boxes and flower beds.
I had written a blog post probably almost a year ago about how I was making more garden space. I had dug out nearly all of the decorative plants and flowers in the designated area and put them in other places around the yard. What happened to the new garden space is not what I had anticipated. I had taken away the plants that were holding the mostly clay dirt in place. When it rained it was a swampy mess and the 400 corn seeds I had planted in the area didn’t take well, we only had thirty stalks and none of them produced any significant edible corn.
The area just doesn’t have enough sun or nutritious soil. One of the three pine trees close by this garden spot came down this summer and really let in a great deal of light. We would keep the pine trees in this location because they give a wonderful amount of privacy from our closest neighbors but all three of them were half dead the whole way up the trees. A bit over a year here and the two remaining pine trees are more close to three quarters of the way dead the whole way up the trees. So they both need to come down as well.
It is a bit upsetting but with them not doing well, we are heading into plan B for the area. We are planning on putting in a permanent fire pit and seating area in the place of the trees. We would like to get matching brick to the current brick patio and extending this into the pine tree area. Its a win win. Sunken fire pit and less grass seed we have to put down. The bonus is a friend of ours found a place about 20 minutes away where they have piles of reject bricks, come and get them for free on the off hours! Free Brick, I am into that. My husband is not nearly as thrilled to climb and search through broken brick.
I think that it will be easier to mow around a bit more patio compared to, jabbing the mowing in an out of under the dead branches of the pine trees in order to get the sparse grass around the edges all while trying to watch your head and face. Wolf spiders like to jump out of the pine trees at our heads and those dead branches have a love of stabbing us in the eyes.
I am also thinking that it may be easier with the fall clean up as well. I find that it is much easier to use the leaf blower/vac on the patio then in the yard. The grass likes to grab and hold onto the dead leaves, so I have to put the leaf vac right on top of every leaf. While on the patio areas I use much less energy in leaf removal. I only have to get mildly close and the leaves get sucked right into the vac.
As I am slightly mulching the leaves that are falling daily I have been building up the new garden bed with grass clippings, chipping material from plant cut down, leaf mulch and ashes from the very small fire pit and the fire place inside. In early November I will be emptying the compost bin onto the area with a nice leaf mulch covering for over the winter.
There are plenty of leaves to go around so I am also going to be collecting and putting the leaves through our chipper which does an amazing job at reducing the leaf litter into one twentieth of its size. It really is interesting. This will be what we add to the raised garden boxes. I have found that their levels are pretty low and could use some refreshing.
The last fall prep that needs to be done this weekend particularly because of the dropping temperatures would be to trim and pot up the tropical plants I have growing in the back yard. Such as the banana tree and the 4 elephant ear plants that have done so well. They will not survive the cold weather, many choose to cut down and place in dormancy. Last year we placed the banana tree in a large pot and put it in the living room and it loved being inside and grew well, when we transplanted it in the spring it had three full grown leaves on it and did not have to start from scratch. The base of the tree has doubled in diameter this summer and it had doubled in height as well. I have several pots set aside for these tropical plants to come in and continue to prosper. below are the photos of the the banana tree we have and a photo of one of the elephant ear leaves.
RickabaughReviews approves of fall prep! Share your fall prep ideas and photos with me I would love to see and share what we all are doing together.