The leaves are falling, they are drifting to the ground and forming a blanket of dead vegetation that grows deeper by the hour. Today I took the first action to bring the masses of fallen leaves that have been drifting across my front yard under control.
There are basically three methods that can be used to gain mastery over the leaves: raking and bagging or burning, blowing and bagging or burning, and mowing. Last year I came back to the Ozarks in November and spent an entire day with my son and grandson raking and burning the leaves. It was a real mess - lots of hard work and breathing smoke all day long, and, at the end of the day, there were still lots of leaves on the ground and more hanging in the branches. We had fun, but didn't accomplish that much.
My neighbor used a leaf-blower on his yard for several hours over the weekend, blowing his leaves into a brushy area that borders his land - and early this afternoon his yard looked no better than mine. That was before I brought out my push mower and put in several hours marching back and forth across my front yard. Now there is no doubt which one of us has done the best job of mastering the leaves. It's Pa Rock, hands down!
My mower is actually a mulcher. I bought it last spring and had no idea how it would work on leaves. It has done a fine job of keeping the grass under control, and I was pleased to find that it is exceptional for chewing up leaves. Now instead of the yard being covered with large leaves that shift and drift with every breeze, most have been finely ground up where they lay on the lawn waiting to decompose and enrich the soil. It's much easier and quicker than raking or blowing, and the mulched leaves serve to make the soil better. Win, win!
I still have lots of mulching to do before winter sets in, but I can see the progress as I mulch - row-by-row, hour-by-hour. My rakes are going in the yard sale!
Now if I could only think of a good marching song to sing, or whistle, as I push the mulching mower back-and-forth across the yard! Surely something will come to me!