|Our Flowtron Leaf Eater, a little battle-scarred, but still working four years later|
Today was perfect for leaf shredding. The sun was shining, and the leaves were dry. So that’s how I spent my afternoon. Because we love our leaves, and so do our gardens. They really, really do.
Since I wrote about my leaf shredder when I bought it back in 2009, I’ve been hauling it out every fall. Although it now sports a few duct tape battle scars, it still does the job it was hired to do.
In the meantime, I’ve perfected my raking techniques. Here’s the most important one: rake shallowly. The main drawback to using shredded leaves maple leaves is that the maple keys slip through the slots, and next spring you’re weeding a forest of maple seedlings.
|Seeds and twigs make up ninety percent of the contents of the yard bags I put out for pickup in fall|
Instead of raking down to the ground, I lightly rake up the leaves on the surface. Maple keys are heavier and tend to fall to the bottom. This is much easier when the leaves are dry – wet things tend to stick together. Yard bags are rarely put out at our house for municipal composting pick-up – except for twigs, rose prunings or maple keys.
|A big bucket of coarsely shredded leaves, ready for spreading. It’s dinnertime, worms!|