Why in March I regretted that I had not collected the fallen leaves in the fall
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In the fall, the garden work ends. This time I decided to leave the fallen leaves, which were few in number, until spring. Well, what harm they do, it's just plant matter. But everything turned out to be not as harmless as it seemed at first glance. In March, I regretted it.
The first spring flowers - snowdrops and crocuses - appear at the end of March, when the sun begins to warm and the snow melts. These are perennial bulbous plants that are found in forests, but I grow them on the site, it is not that difficult. Snowdrop - galanthus - the first spring flower, grows well in the open field. He is picky about the composition of the soil, which is badly affected by fallen leaves. The main work on the site has not yet begun, but in order for the primroses to make their way to the sun and decorate the site, it was necessary to remove the dense crust of leaves. It is easier and faster to do this in the fall, when the foliage is light, clean, you can even remove it with your hands. During the winter, it sticks together into one continuous layer, through which not a single sprout breaks through. Snowdrops and crocuses have thin tender stems, so some of them wilted in small sprouts, and the rest simply did not sprout. But that's not all the loss.
Plants that hibernate in the area under the snow, in early spring, are already pleasing to the eye with green foliage. But those that turned out to be under the fallen leaves turned yellow, look lethargic and faded. They will have to be cut, which will ruin the whole appearance. This is due to the lack of sunlight, which cannot break through to the plants through the layer of autumn leaves. They will have to be watched for a long time, since insect larvae and pathogens hibernate in the fallen leaves. All plantings will have to be thoroughly cleaned out until the pests begin to multiply from the heat and move to the plants in the neighborhood.
Irises and liverwort
Delicate spring flowers - liverwort and irises were under a thick layer of fallen leaves. It is unlikely that it will be possible to restore them. They do not like damp soil, stagnant water. The danger of autumn leaves is also that they do not allow moisture to evaporate from the soil, and stagnation occurs there. If the frost does not allow rot to appear, then when the temperature rises under the foliage, everything will rot. This is how my irises and the soft blue liverwort died. The stems and roots are rotten, they will have to be dug up and thrown away.
The lawn grass also suffered. Where there are most of the autumn leaves, it has withered, turned yellow, and bald spots have formed in places. It will not be easy to restore a lawn of even green color with dense grass, it will take time; in some places you will have to sow new grass, wait until it rises. The lawn will be a month or two with spots, the color will even out only by the middle of summer, after the lawn mower passes on it for the first time.
I have spruce, juniper and rosehip seedlings growing on my site. They frame the seating area. Unfortunately, all the lower branches have turned yellow and look emaciated, lifeless. Dangerous pests, such as spider mites, overwinter in fallen leaves. With the warmth of spring, they wake up and move to the plant, entwine it with their cobwebs, eating all the juices. Now you have to spray the bushes and Christmas trees with a special insecticidal composition, and more than once. You need to process it at least twice a month, until the ticks have captured the entire plant. Another problem is the fungus, which settles in places where there is a lot of moisture, there is no supply of fresh air. Treatment with fungicides will be required, and there is no certainty that the plant will defeat the disease. If I cleaned the area in the fall, there would be less work in the spring and the plants would stay healthy.
It turns out that the whole area - grass, flowers, shrubs, paths - suffered from wrong actions in the fall in spring. It will take a lot of work to keep everything that was planted earlier. A whole set of actions is needed - treatment from pests, digging up dead bulbs, clearing the land under bushes - and the leaves will still have to be removed. In the spring, they look completely unaesthetic, and for the health of plants, leaving them further is dangerous. Only now it will take more effort. I put them away with gloves, packing them in bags, which I tie tightly on top.
You need to remove the leaves immediately, without leaving this work for the spring. In the fall, it is much easier and faster to do this before the rains, until the leaf layer has turned into a slippery crust. After lying in the winter, the leaves will stick together, turn into a viscous porridge, on such heaps anyone can slip. Before starting spring work, you will have to do cleaning, otherwise it will be traumatic to move around the site. First, you need to remove garbage from the paths, then from the flower beds and under the trees. Carry out the garden correctly so as not to complicate your work. Don't repeat my mistakes.
Is the burning of fallen leaves allowed, and is it possible to burn foliage on your site?
Burning is the most popular way to get rid of fallen leaves.
This method is fast, free and does not require much effort.
You do not have to spend money on transporting the harvested leaves to the place of processing and pay for their subsequent disposal.
but this way of getting rid of garden waste can entail administrative responsibility.
In this article, we'll cover:
- what harm does burning leaves do to the human body
- what regulations regulate this method of disposal
- when is burning of foliage justified
- Are fallen leaves burned in the USA and Europe?
- what to do if fallen leaves have accumulated.
The following gardening tools work well for harvesting leaves:
- The rake allows you not only to quickly get rid of fallen leaves, but also break up large earthy lumps and level the surface. The optimum bar width for garden cleaning is 20 cm.
- Forks for harvesting foliage are used in cases where there is no rake at hand. With their help, it is convenient to remove heaps of fallen leaves and transfer them to a wheelbarrow or into bags.
- The fan rake is specially designed for harvesting fallen leaves without damaging the grass growing underneath (eg lawn).
- Blowers allow you to quickly collect fallen leaves in heaps, which can then be easily taken out of the suburban area. They can be electric or gasoline.
Where can you collect nettles
The plant is distributed in the Caucasus, Western Siberia, in general, throughout the European part of the country. This representative of the flora prefers high humidity, rich, fertile soil, shady terrain. Nettles often have to be collected in forests, gardens, among artisanal thickets; there are many of them near residential settlements and along roads.
Plants are not harvested everywhere. Even if it grows in abundance along highways, it should not be touched due to the presence of many harmful substances (road dust, exhaust gases absorbed by foliage). Do not collect nettles near industrial zones, manufacturing plants, sewers, as well as at city dumps, or in places with high radiation and unfavorable sanitary conditions.
Tool for cleaning fallen leaves in the garden
How, what and whether it is necessary to remove the leaves in the garden in the fall in general, we will figure it out in more detail. For sanitary cleaning and measures for the improvement of the territory of the summer cottage, mechanical (manual) and wind (automatic) tools are suitable.
Mechanical tools are more familiar to summer residents who deal with the site in the old fashioned way. They are inexpensive, easy to use, and last a long time. To clean the area, you will need the following inventory:
The process of cleaning the site with a mechanical tool
After you have decided whether you need to remove the fallen leaves in the garden, choose a fine day, prepare all the necessary equipment, take your assistants and get down to business. You will definitely need a fun company, so cleaning will turn into a useful common activity, and not into a boring routine. You can attract children, they will be happy to get acquainted with the garden tool, and at the same time they will take part in the competition for the most beautiful autumn leaf. In addition, after harvesting from the collected autumn bouquet, you can make together an ikebana, a herbarium or a craft with the gifts of nature.
To do everything quickly and as useful as possible, follow the cleaning process in order:
- Put on comfortable clothes and shoes, and prepare household gloves.
- Collect all inventory in one place in advance, including the wheelbarrow and bags.
- Use a fan rake to shave off a yellow leaf from trees and bushes.
- If outbuildings are located in the garden area, clean the roof slopes and gutters from leaf fall activity.
- Start scooping up the dead wood layer with a regular rake, forming heaps.
- Use only a fan rake to clean the lawn so as not to raise the layer of soil with grass.
- The resulting heaps can be loaded onto a wheelbarrow and taken to the compost heaps or folded into prepared bags.
Do not use a single rake to clean the foliage in the fall at the dacha. A good alternative to the traditional way of working on the site is wind instruments, that is, those that blow off or suck in debris. According to the principle of operation, they are divided into gasoline and electric. The difference also exists in the direction of the air flow:
- with the help of a blower, all garbage from the yard, paths or from under the trees is blown towards the common heap
- if you are cleaning foliage with a vacuum cleaner, then it is drawn into a special bag. Many vacuum cleaners are equipped with a grinder, so that, falling into the bag, everything becomes several times smaller and saves the internal space of the container.
What to consider when buying
When the question of whether it is necessary to remove fallen leaves in the country no longer arises, then this will have to be done often and in large volumes, do not despair. Just choose the best version of the wind instrument, taking into account weight, power, cost. We also advise you to pay attention to the following:
- The power tool may vibrate during operation, which is unpleasant in itself, and can also lead to unpleasant consequences and quick fatigue, so choose a tool with anti-vibration protection.
- Be sure to pick up the device by assessing the weight. It should be borne in mind that you will not have to hold it for five minutes and the weight will play a big role in the tension of the muscles of the arms and back. Maybe the device has straps for fastening on the back, so it will be easier to use it for a long time.
- The speed and strength of the air flow is important. Firstly, the leaves should not fly in all directions and fly on your head, and secondly, they must be sent in a heap. The ideal option is a device with several modes of operation.
Another assistant in the question of whether it is necessary to remove foliage in the fall will be a large-sized wind instrument on wheels. It costs an order of magnitude more expensive than a manual device, but it is convenient, good power and performance.
Leaves harvesting methods
Special tools help to facilitate gardening in autumn. The choice of device depends on the type of area to be processed, as well as on its size.
Traditionally, a rake consisting of a metal rack and teeth helps to remove dry foliage. Such a tool helps to break up clods of earth and level the ground surface.
It is most convenient to use a rail up to 20 cm wide for cleaning the garden. The narrow rake allows you to get rid of the most inaccessible areas from natural debris.
Another tool that summer cottages cannot do without is the pitchfork. If there is no rake, then a pitchfork can be used for cleaning. They are most often used to remove large debris.
The fan-type rake is designed exclusively for ridding the garden of leaves. In such a tool there are metal or plastic rods bent at the ends at an angle of 90 degrees.
The metal tool is more reliable. When working with uneven surfaces, it is recommended to choose the plastic version with a springy effect.
For cleaning the garden, special devices have been created, which are called blowers. They are able to put in order the territory of the site for a short time.
The blower can do the following:
- heap leaves to fill the compost pit
- remove debris like a conventional vacuum cleaner
- chop foliage, twigs and grass.
The blowers are powered by a gasoline or electric engine. How to choose the right device depends on the size of the site. The petrol blower has a high power and allows you to clean large areas. However, the device is noisy and vibrates strongly.
The electric blower is less powerful and is used for cleaning relatively small areas. The device operates quietly and has a low vibration level.
Do I need to dig a garden in the fall?
During the preparation of the site for wintering, some gardeners carefully dig up the ground, while others, on the contrary, try to do this after the frost in the spring. Moreover, recently the question of digging a garden has been increasingly raised: is it really necessary, or is this just how you only create problems for yourself for the new season? Let's figure it out.
Do I need to dig a garden in the fall: opposite opinions
Almost all experienced gardeners will advise you not to dig a vegetable garden in the fall at all. Although there are many scientific rationales and opinions of gardeners who are used to acting this way, spring digging is increasingly preferred. But the autumn version also has its undeniable advantages.
- All leaves from the surface move underground and rot there over the winter. This is true, but there is also a second side to the coin. In addition to the foliage, you also bury the seeds of all the weeds, which will not freeze now, but will safely overwinter and germinate in the new season. In other words, you are simply cultivating weeds in your area.
- When we start digging a garden in the fall, then all the larvae of insects and other pests (scoop caterpillars, Colorado beetles, bear) end up on the surface. As a result, they are either pecked by birds, or they will die under the influence of wind and cold. Everyone knows how to dig a garden correctly: only in lumps and in no case break them. In this way, you kill only 10% of pests, and the rest remain in these very clumps and winter safely.
- When digging a vegetable garden, all nitrogen-fixing organisms are activated, which in turn enrich the soil with nitrogen forms that are most suitable for plants. But the effect is visible only if the soil is hardened. Otherwise, everything useful that began to develop in the soil simply disappears.
- Many gardeners, when asked whether it is necessary to dig a garden in the fall, nod in the affirmative and motivate this by the fact that a layer of minerals and fertilizers comes to the surface. This is a misconception: the deeper you dig, the less useful it will be in the soil. Ideally, the depth of digging varies within 5-10 cm, which is more advisable to do in the spring.
- Many summer residents do not even ask the question of whether or not to dig a vegetable garden if there are many trees on the site. This is another way of processing leaves. Of course, rotten leaves are an excellent fertilizer, but with it all diseases remain in the soil. So it is better to leave everything as it is, and then in the spring, remove the layer of foliage and dig up the ground.
Do I need to dig a garden in the fall: some tips for novice gardeners
As you can see, there is no single opinion. The only indisputable argument in favor of the autumn digging is that it helps to reduce the time for preparing the garden in the spring. If you do not dig up the ground before cold weather and precipitation, by spring the top layer will become very compacted and it will be difficult to prepare it.
If you decide to give preference to the autumn digging, then you should do it right. The time when it is better to dig a vegetable garden falls in mid-late autumn, it all depends on the climate in your region. In any case, this must be done before the rainy season.
During digging, you can immediately lime or gypsum the soil. The lumps should be large, this is necessary so that the snow falls well on the site and it is easier to prepare the soil for spring planting.
So, whether it is necessary to dig up the garden in the fall, each gardener decides for himself. Some give preference to methods proven over the years and dig up areas. More daring innovators try new options and sometimes refuse to dig altogether. This largely depends on the climate and type of soil on the site.