Autumn is upon us. It’s time for Fall Yard Cleanup in the garden! The leaves are falling, perennials are fizzling out, ornamental grasses are at their peak, and annuals are finishing up their blooms before the first frost.
There are several schools of thought regarding leaf cleanup in the garden. Some gardeners prefer to maintain a constant mulch of leaf matter on the soil. Others prefer complete leaf clean-up which is actually a lot of work and not necessary. Use those “free” leaves as leaf mulch which will add nutrients to your planting beds. Just chop them up with a shredder.
I do recommend that you remove all leaves from your grassy lawn areas though. Leaves will stifle grass growth, and will leave bare pockets in the lawn if not removed. You can use a mulching lawn mower to chop up the leaves and integrate them as a nutrient into your lawn and planting beds. If your lawn mower has a bag, remove the bag and leave the grass and leaf clippings on the lawn to break down into the soil.
Excess brush and branches should be cleaned up as well. Collect some small branches as kindling for your chiminea or outdoor fire pit, as well as for your indoor wood-burning fireplace.
Electric or gas-powered lawn equipment can certainly assist you during Fall Cleanup. Chippers, shredders, and mulchers are at your service to chop up excess leaves and brush into more manageable uses. Additionally, you will want to have a set of yard cleanup tools in your garage or shed that you can also use year-round.
Here’s my wish list of fall yard cleanup tools and equipment (click on highlighted words for more info and examples):
Get your kids to help out, and pull your neighbors together for a Saturday fall cleanup day in your subdivision or community. It’s amazing how much work can be done quickly with lots of hands to help out.