Photo courtesy Flickr
This block is privileged to live under a towering row of mature ash trees. Every autumn we are showered with a thick layer of insulation and fertilizer that is free for the gathering.
Although I’ve never tried it, ash leaves were a preferred filling for early American mattresses. Someday, perhaps, when I have an empty duvet cover and nothing more pressing to do, I’ll fill it with clean leaves and try yet another old way in contemporary circumstances. Such an experiment often pays off. Leaves sealed into big plastic bags might make perfectly reasonable temporary insulation over the winter, rather like the bales of hay Turks pile onto their farmhouse roofs.
Ash leaves are a convenient size and shape to use for mulch. They’re too small to mat and don’t tangle. My lot has the sloping front bank typical of most homes in Seattle. Not wanting to mow my toes, I stripped the sod shortly after we moved in and planted daisies, in imitation of rural roadsides. The bank has evolved over time and looks even more like my beloved West End.
This year the timing is just right to cut down summer’s dead growth and cover the remains with a layer of leaves. Repeating the process for thirty years has grown beautiful soil and an impressive population of earth worms-who can really move dirt. Where I once had to use, literally, a pick axe on my hands and knees to remove weeds, I can now just lean over and lift one on my way into the house wearing business clothes.
I simply mow the leaves that accumulate on the sod of the parking strip. It’s trivial work, and frequent mowing for the month when the leaves are falling gives me well but not overfed grass that takes care of itself the rest of the year.
-30- More after the jump.