Outdoor yard season is almost over for the year, but yesterday I fired up the lawn mower again. Not for the grass, though; since the weather's been cool it hadn't grown much in a week, but it was time to mulch some leaves!
The trees in our 25-year old subdivision are growing and producing more leaves every year. Our yard has a maple in the strip between the sidewalk and the street. The neighbors on one side have a maple, and the others a locust. Our back yard has a redbud tree and a sugar maple. The hot, dry summer caused the redbud to drop its leaves early, but everything else produced the normal amount, and large sections of the yard were covered with a smooth, even layer of leaves.
Getting rid of the leaves is good for the lawn; if you don't remove the layer of dead matter the lawn will suffocate. I could take care of that by raking and bagging them, but I mulch them with the lawn mower because I think it's MUCH easier and quicker than raking. And, it's satisfying to watch the dead leaves get cut into tiny pieces, which eventually disappear with no additional work on my part.
I stared in the front yard, mowing across in straight rows. When I was finished there was a clear demarcation line between our yard and the neighbor's, which was very satisfying. After I finished the front I took care of the small strip to the left between the two houses (where there were no leaves) and moved to the back.
The leaves here were thicker, and mainly concentrated in an eight foot ring around the maple tree. The first pass of the mower didn't cut up the leaves completely, so I went back over that part of the lawn again. The last step was to finish with the strip on the opposite side of the house (which again had no leaves). I got to the front of the house, turned the mower off, and wheeled it to the garage.
There's still quite a few leaves on the trees so the mowing ins't over yet. As a matter of fact, when I was putting the lawn mower away I noticed the next layer of leaves had already started to fall. I'm ready, though. Bring them on!