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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Leaf raking debate

      With the snow melting this weekend it was time to once again rake some leaves from our yard.  This has always created some controversy in our family.   There are those who feel that somehow leaves are the enemy of a healthy yard and others, like myself, who feel that leaves decomposing on your yard provide natural fertilizer for anything that you want to grow in your yard.  We seem to compromise and I mulch the leaves with my lawnmower  so that the grass gets the nutrients when it rains but the leaves are not big enough to smother the grass.
       Of course this leaf raking debate is seen by one person in our family (who shall remain unnamed) that I am just lazy when it comes to taking care of a lawn.  I plead guilty to not buying into the idea that a lush green yard is something that every suburbanite should prize.  My attitude has been if nature puts it on the ground who am I to work against nature and remove it?  If it kills the grass maybe that is nature's way of telling me that a lawn is not environmentally good.

     If you have been a reader of this blog you know my multi-year project to eliminate all the grass in my yard with perennials plants and landscaping to reduce water runoff.

    The first phase of this plan was the creation of a rain garden in the yard shown above.  The next phase is to identify plants that attract birds and butterflies.  The challenge is to also keep the plants from the deer!!  As long as other plants are available they tend to leave my plants alone but come late summer and fall the find my plants.
     During this weekend leaf raking I was using one of the Home Depot environmentally friendly leaf bags and noticed what they recommended for a healthy lawn.

  I somehow think that the use of chemical fertilizer 4 to 5 times a year is designed more for Home Depot's bottom line than what is good for the environment.  Even more destructive is the listing of controlling weeds by probably buying some of their chemical weed killers.

     Call me crazy but I have been searching for tropical plants that can survive in our area.  I have a small palm bush that I will be putting out this Spring and am looking into banana trees.


Anonymous said...

Nice article. A few tips, though. Yes, Home Depot is happy to help its bottom line, but that doesn't necessarily mean a lot of harmful chemicals. Fertilizing does not necessarily mean artificial. I have a large compost pile containing a lot of my leaves, grass clippings and fruit/vegetable food scraps. Makes an excellent fertilizer. Home Depot will be happy to sell you that, too, if you don't make your own. And weed control doesn't necessarily mean Roundup. There are other ways to control the weeds, and they really do kill your turf grass or desired plants. If you ever do figure out how to keep Bambi away from your plants, though, let us know how. My neighbor just gave up on his garden altogether because he was tired of growing Bambi-snacks, and I've felt the same way myself. :-)

duanestclair said...

Here are some deer prevention methods. We use the dog and human hair methods. They seem to work reasonably well.

Mike Mcmillen said...

It's nice how you've been maintaining the gardening on your lawn. It looks great. Anyway, I agree that the grass and weeds there should be kept trimmed always. Good thing there are ways of going around that. Just keep up the everyday level of industry and innovation you seem to display there. Thanks for sharing that! All the best to you!

Mike Mcmillen @ Dependable Lawn Care