General Discussion:

help: too many leaves

Messages posted to thread:

Wendy04-May-02 06:52 PM EST 3a   
Susan05-May-02 10:10 AM EST 6a   
bruce06-May-02 02:59 AM EST 3   
Wendy06-May-02 10:40 AM EST 3a   
Susan06-May-02 12:06 PM EST 6a   

Subject: help: too many leaves
From: Wendy
Zone: 3a
Date: 04-May-02 06:52 PM EST

I have an acreage just north of Edmonton and I started a wooded area in behind a perennial border in the back yard. We have a lot of leaf trees also in the back yard and I have just been piling them up behind the perennial border in the fall. The wooded area is down one side of the back yard which is probably 200 feet and the perennial border is in front of that again. My question is am I going to have a problem with the leaves as they build up? Secondly, what can I use to break the leaves down faster? I have not started watering them down yet and frankly would rather not do that. the snow coer was minimal this year and did not flatten them down as I had thought it would. I am trying to use the leaves as a mulch and to keep the weeds down in the wooded area. Any thoughts? We are having a cold Spring in Edmonton. It is not going up much past +2...if you can believe it.

Subject: RE: help: too many leaves
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 05-May-02 10:10 AM EST

Throwing a layer of soil on top of the leaves might help by introducing some of the organisms that compost the leaves to the top of the pile so all the activity isn't limited to the bottom of the pile. Did all the leaves come from the wooded area? If so, why not them where they fall under the trees? That's what I do in my backyard 'woodland'. It provides a natural layer of humus that woodland plants do well in. Woodland plants will come up through the leaf layer in the spring (so will woodland weeds, unfortunately! Garlic-mustard weed is a particular curse in my area...) If you must gather up the leaves in piles in the fall, mulch them with the lawnmower or a mulching leaf-blower first and that will considerably reduce the size of the pile and speed up the breakdown of the leaves into compost.

Subject: RE: help: too many leaves
From: bruce (
Zone: 3
Date: 06-May-02 02:59 AM EST

I live in the country and also have a lot of leaves but never enough.I'll pick up other peoples leaves just to get enough. Last year i must have used at least 150 bags of them. I mulch with leaves in the summer and also put a thick layer of them on my beds in the fall just in case there isn't much snow cover. I also work alot of them into my garden in the fall and they are composted by spring.

Subject: RE: help: too many leaves
From: Wendy
Zone: 3a
Date: 06-May-02 10:40 AM EST

Thank you Susan and Bruce for your coments. Yes I want to keep these leaves too but I just do not want them blowing all over the lawn all summer.I will put the soil on them as you suggested Susan. If I water them down as well it should help I suspect. Susan how do you control the weeds in your woodland?

It is difficult to get the lawnmower into the wooded area. How big are the leaf mulching blowers and where can I get one? thanks for the help. Wendy

Subject: RE: help: too many leaves
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 06-May-02 12:06 PM EST

I weed the woodland several times in the spring to get the new seedlings and then just pull any new ones I see as I walk around in the garden in the summer. In the first year (2000), I weeded practically non-stop all summer! Last year it was just the spring weeding and periodic pulling of late arrivals. This spring there are very few weeds. I let all the pine needles stay on the ground and any leaves from the ash trees on the back lawn stay as well so all that helps too. My biggest problem is my neighbors have abandoned the back of their properties to weeds, which means I get their weed seeds every year! My 'woodland' is 75 feet wide and 25-30 feet deep. There are paths made from 50/50 coarse sand and pine bark mulch throughout the 'woodland' to make access easier for maintenance and viewing. It's fun to see the garden from inside the garden!

The mulching leaf blowers are the same size as an ordinary one but it has a bag attachment so you can suck up the leaves, it chews them up and spits them into the bag. It operates as a regular leaf blower too. (I think most leaf blowers are designed to mulch...?) You can buy them in most hardware stores in the fall.

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