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Mulch vs autumn leaf fall....

2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

The time for leaf-fall is approaching, and once again I am dithering about how to handle the autumn clean-up. Here's my situation:

My DH is quite insistent about having the yard and gardens cleaned up from dead stems and leaves. We have many large mature trees all over this property, mostly oaks with some maples. Usually, in the past, we have a landscape guy do the clean-up, but I hate that he just blows the leaves (noisy and nothing left for composting or mulching, which is a pitiful waste IMHO) and hauls them away. DH is thrilled. Me? Not so much.

One thing that really has begun to bother me about this clean-slate approach is that I am convinced that many beneficial insects are having their winter homes destroyed.

It IS definitely a huge problem to let the leaves remain where they fall (not on the lawns) and deal with the mess come spring. Too wet to remove easily then, and smothering of emerging plants not a great idea. Oak leaves take far too long to disintegrate on their own... And I am far too advanced in years and loss of stamina/strength to rake the leaves myself!

But another huge side to my problem with my guy and his blower -- I currently do not mulch any of my gardens, as when he does this go-and-blow, all the mulch gets removed as well, or scattered at the least. That gets rather expensive over the years! How do folk manage this mulch dilemma?? I would really like to be able to mulch in future...

Any helpful suggestions? TIA. I'm in Central Massachusetts, just west of Worcester. =)

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