Monday, November 17, 2008

Still Fall


I feel compelled to produce evidence that it is indeed fall here and not the dead of winter yet.

Yes, the days are shorter and we tend to experience snow "sprinkles" rather than rain - but it's fall. Taking walks this time of the year tends to be interesting for wildlife spotting. It's easy to spot deer and squirrels in the trees without the cover of leaves to hide them. Surprisingly I haven't really spotted rabbits near the house this fall.

In the morning any little bit of water tends to be frozen, but the river is still flowing.


Just a few leaves left in the yard. We did get a great day over the weekend to clean up most of the ones that fell in the front yard. The back tends to stay fairly leaf free on its own.


This brings up one question I have been pondering lately - do I need to clean up my leaves? I have vaguely heard somewhere that if you have a fine type of grass that too many leaves will damage it over the winter. I wonder how much is too much...which begs the question, if grass really isn't suited to where it is (under trees) what is better...

Highs: near 32 F

15 comments:

perennialgardener said...

I figured you be hunkered down for the winter Chris. Looks like you have been spared a huge snowfall so far. I tend to shred my leaves up with the lawnmower and rake them into the garden as a mulch. They make a nice warm blanket for the perennials & helps somewhat with upheaving. We get alot of freezing & thawing which can be hard on plants. My opinion is that they can be hard on the lawn smothering it out. They also make for nice compost!

ChrisND said...

PG, they just told us on the weather that we have a chance of some "warm" days as long as the ground is still exposed...once the snow pack starts the heat is all reflected away.

I did mulch in most of our leaves and put some in the beds that needed a little extra protection. I guess it's nice that I can extend the zones a little by adding mulch like leaves.

Q said...

Dear Chris,
We also mulch with our leaves. We have so much freeze/thaw that the leaves help with heaving. I also leave the stems on until spring.
It was cold today. I read we are to have a warm up on Wednesday. I have a few annuals to still pull up. I would love to get to them before Thanksgiving.
It is still Autumn at my house but when it smells cold I shiver...today I smelled the cold.
Sherry

Northern Shade said...

Like your other commenters, I run a mulching mower over the leaves to help speed up their decomposition. Many of the leaves fall straight into my gardens, which is handy. I then drop some armloads on any perennials that don't get covered by the trees. I actually quite like playing with the leaves.

Cheryl said...

You seem to be having much lower temperatures than us........I love to see the snow......I love the silence.....

Leaves are always topical.......I clear some of mine.......I do also leave some in the borders and on the grass.....personally I have never had a problem with grass dying back.....BUT it is meadow grass here, so is very tough......
also leaf piles are wonderful for insects to hide in, also great for birds to forage through.......

ChrisND said...

Sherry, that's true - the leaves can help provide protection in spots that are prone to heaving. We have some days in the forecast that should be warm (if the wind is low) - but I won't count too much on them anymore.

ChrisND said...

Hi Northern Shade. It is fun to play around with the leaves - especially with kids or dogs.

ChrisND said...

Cheryl, yes I do like to leave some garden debris for the insects to hide in. We haven't really had problems with our grass getting smothered - but we don't get that many leaves and usually get a chance to clear some off for other uses. I was a bit worried since the front lawn is a finer type of grass (as far as I can tell).

Roses and Lilacs said...

It was a lovely fall day here yesterday. What a difference a day makes. It's snowing today.
Marnie

ChrisND said...

Hi Marnie. A day makes a big difference - especially this time of year...Just the other day was sunny and near 32F...today is a bit cloudy with sub-zero wind chills. Guess we have to take the good days when they come.

Rose said...

Your weather looks much like ours, Chris. We've had some snow "sprinkles", too, but no real snowfall yet. Today is sunny, but cold--in the low 30's. Reading your post was perfect timing as I just spent some time outside raking leaves.

I see Perennial Gardener gave you some good advice already. I try to get the big leaves and thickly covered piles off the lawn, just because they can kill the grass if left too long. But I take the easy way out--our lawn is much too large to rake all of it. The wind blew a lot of the leaves into my flowerbeds, and I just left them there to keep the plants warm over the winter. I even added a few more! In the spring I'll rake out the flowerbeds. I don't shred my leaves--though I should; I've put piles of them on a patch of grass I want to turn into a new flowerbed next spring. I'm hoping they will stay there and kill most of the grass.

Stay warm!

ChrisND said...

Rose, you know the sun does seem to make a big difference - especially if we get out of the wind.

I don't have to do too much work with leaves...we don't usually get a thick layer. So, one time with the mower after the trees are bare works okay. Normally there aren't enough to place in all the beds even.

Beth said...

Hi Chris - my husband rakes the lawn clean in the fall. (Of course, I steal some and put some in my beds.) The neighbors do nothing with their leaves and let theirs sit all winter long. The result? Their grass is much healthier and greener in the spring and ours gets winter kill. It must be something with the leaves, wouldn't you think?

ChrisND said...

Hey Beth...I guess that if the leaves aren't smothering the lawn, then they can be a fertilizer and probably protect the grass some. I try to mulch most of ours back into the lawn.

I know that snow can insulate grass from cold winters...our neighbor had a border of dead grass around their sidewalk where they always cleared the snow. Then there is the effects of sidewalk salt.

Q said...

Dear Chris,
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Sherry