Sunday, November 23, 2008

Don't Burn Those Freakin Leaves!!!!


Now that fall is on full swing upon us, you may be wondering just what to do with all those leaves. As you know more and more people are finding it necessary to "go green" and thinking more about organic foods. Fall leaves can be used for many things, one of which is as a mulch or soil enhancer in your garden. Leaves are naturally full of nutrients and are also food for many beneficial garden bugs. So lets stop throwing away our leaves and piling up plastic gargage bags full of them next to our curb on trash pick up day. Put them to good use in your garden.

We have repeated the following steps for the last couple of years. The results have been very noticable in our garden. Our soil was once very hard dirt and is now a rich loamy texture - great for vegetable growing.

Put on your gloves and workboots. I recommend shielding your face from the sun with a wide brimmed hat. To burn optimal calories, I recommend making this a manual process. No heavy machinery involved until we get to the tilling part. NO cheating by using lawn mowers or ATV's with trailers to haul the leaves. If burning calories is not something you are concerned with, go ahead, use a leaf blower to direct the leaves into your garden. Using your rake, begin to pile your wheelbarrow full of fall leaves. Make several trips to your garden with your wheelbarrow full of leaves. Dump the leaves randomly throughout your garden. You should have between three to six inches of leaves spread evenly across your garden before tilling. Using your garden tiller, begin to till the leaves into the soil. Work the leaves into the top six inches of soil.
As the leaves begin to decompose into the soil, the nutrients will be released. The beneficial garden bugs will be happy as will your vegetables! There are several ways to store the leaves for later use if you don't want to use the leaves immediately. I will discuss this in the next article.

No comments: