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Just this past weekend I tackled the front garden and all the leaves. I hate bagging them even though my town does compost them - what's the carbon footprint of all those brown leaf bags?. I trimmed back some of the perennials and tidied the beds so I could blow some of the leaves and raked the large piles onto the lawn. I had a huge pile - I actually thought too big but I ran the lawn mower (set on highest setting) over them (I had to tip it up to stop it clogging) eventually ending in decreasing circles with the chopped leaves being blown into a quite manageable pile. Then I put the chopped leaves back on the borders as mulch. Yes, I used some gasoline and yes, I created some noise for a while but everything was put back to good use. They break down over the year, keeping moisture in and slowly composting down and they keep the weeds down in the beds. I've tried just raking leaves onto the beds but they catch the wind too much and blow around, chopping them up makes them stay on the beds. In the back garden, I'm less fussy -mowing/mulching the leaves from the middle of the grass area outwards directly onto the borders as I do the last mow of the year. I don't like to leave the chopped leaves on the lawn unless it's a very thin layer and I have too many white oaks and norway maples on the 1/4 acre property to be able to do that. Thanks for the note on butterflies - I had a lot of late parsleyworms this year (on the parsley) and I read that they can overwinter as chrysalis so I'll just leave the leaves in the veg garden where they were.
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2010 on Ranting about Dead Leaf Advice at Garden Rant
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I need the book because you just made me hungry.
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Go and see it and you will think that at whatever price it was justified. I live in CT and I've been to The High line twice this year. It's a fantastic place which seems to be the key to reviving an area of NYC that needed an anchor point. It's unique, being that it's linear and elevated, giving views that you can't get anywhere else in the city plus a breathey stroll high above the hubbub of NYC. It may be high maintenance but it draws a crazy amount of people - so much so that they make it one-way when crowds get too big. There have always been people of all ages and nationalities walking, sitting, strolling, taking it in when I've been there which indicates that it's a great resource for the city. I was first there this spring and then again recently with my sister who was visiting from the UK, "Oh," she said "yes, The High Line, I read about that in The Daily Telegraph." To me it's got a very Euro/Dutch vibe, the design is awesome yet muted. Phase II (the second half mile or so was coming along nicely when I was there last.) It's quite delightful. One of my favorite spots in the city. You should go. (and be sure to have a bier in the BierGarten under the Gansevoort St end).
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I have a back "lawn" which I'd be willing to try the seed on if you think it's suitable. Measures approx. 70' W x 50' D. North facing depthwise. Zone 5/6 (SW CT). Acidic. I have a soil test from 3 yrs ago if you want to know the full details. Approx. 25% of the width gets sun, 50% gets partial sun and 25% gets shade. I have tried many seed types over the past 3 years with more success with Agways Conservation Mix and top-dressed with compost this past spring (no chemicals thank you). However, shaded areas have no/little grass, some moss and a few weeds (hey, they're green, they look like grass from a distance). The partial shade/sun area has some grass - spotty/clumpy (obviously not rhizomatous) with area filling in with crabgrass and a few weeds that I think are smartweed(?). No, really it's a delight! I do not have to water this "lawn". Overhead on the shade side are 80-90ft white oaks and a couple norway maples (which certainly doesn't help in the super shady no grass area - they are likely part of the problem.) When it's mown it doesn't look as awful as it sound here but I've been focussing on other parts of the yard (front) more. Eventually I will have to face it! If I don't reseed the lawn, current plan is to convert shade area to gravel and containers and woodland garden and reduce lawn area to area that grows grass the best (approx 40' diameter circle) by installing mixed perennial beds on sinny side. If chosen I would like to know if I'm expected to rip up up the existing lawn.
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