Seeds from Sassamansville - October

Posted: October, 2012 | Linda Boyer

Ahh… October.  The crisp, cool beautiful autumn in Pennsylvania.  The glorious leaves that provide this beauty are also a bounty of gold for gardeners.  One of my personal pet peeves is seeing bag after bag of leaves placed out for the garbage truck.  What a waste of a natural resource, precious time and energy spent bagging leaves!  With regular mowing of a healthy, established lawn, you can simply mow the leaves into the lawn.  If you don’t have a mulching mower, lower your mower deck to about two or three inches.  It is important that leaves don’t accumulate on your grass.  Also don’t allow wet piles of leaves to lay for any length of time.
There are many uses for leaves. You can use leaves for mulch around perennials as you tuck them in for winter.  Put leaves on top of your bare garden and mix them into the soil.  One of the most practical things you can do with your leaves is put them in your compost pile along with your cut grass and food scraps.  A compost pile can be designed to meet the needs of any homeowner.
One idea for someone with limited space would be a garbage can with a lid.  Drill holes in the can every few inches over the entire can, including the bottom.  Fill the bottom with wood chips, saw dust or straw.  Then add your food scraps, plant material, leaves, some water and manure from non-meat eating animals (horse, chickens, cows, etcetera).  Chop the composting material into smaller pieces helps to speed the process.  Put the lid on tightly to help keep the heat in and the neighborhood cat out.  Stir every week or so.  Stirring your compost is important to keep the process moving ahead.  Stirring also reduces odor problems.  Things you don’t want to add to your compost include meats, meat bi-products, and plant material that was treated with chemicals.  Oh, I just thought of one more way to use your leaves, rake into a gigantic pile and jump directly on top of the pile, scoop a pile in your hands and throw into the air, enjoy!