Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Kentucky bluegrass, Fescue, Rye and Bent, etc
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andy10917
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Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by andy10917 » September 26th, 2020, 1:32 pm

Even though the winds haven't begun to pick up yet for the Fall Season, even a gentle breeze brought on the first "Leaf storms" today. It's Game On time now to stay ahead of the fallen leaves (and the many that will blow out of the surrounding woods). In an overwhelming year, they can total up to 30" total over the next 7-8 weeks.

While I appreciate all the organic matter the Fall brings (and the microherd eats!), the amount of time spent mowing them in rises sharply now.

In all the years I've owned this property (that's 34 years now), I will never forget the first year with 1+ acres. My wife and I went out onto the lawn, each with just a rake. The breezes blew down the leaves at twice the rate we were removing them. After 15 minutes of this, we put the rakes away and sat outside at the back of the house and had a beer (maybe it was two) and just watched it all.

All I remember saying was "we need a better plan".

On to Autumn #35...

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PSU4ME
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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by PSU4ME » September 26th, 2020, 4:12 pm

I’m hopeful to hook up with a landscaper again and have him dump on sandy area. Being home how it’s easier to just jump on the tractor quick when I see them.

Too late to throw down corn to help?

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andy10917
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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by andy10917 » September 26th, 2020, 6:39 pm

Son, it's way past Appetizer time. The Main Course is about to be served.

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 26th, 2020, 7:32 pm

andy10917 wrote:
September 26th, 2020, 1:32 pm
It's Game On time now to stay ahead of the fallen leaves ...
I'm glad to report that significant leaf fall hasn't started here yet. A couple weeks ago, a tree across the street started dropping most of its leaves, but so far, it's been the only one.

The leaf fall is coming soon, though, that's for sure!
andy10917 wrote:
September 26th, 2020, 1:32 pm
In all the years I've owned this property (that's 34 years now), I will never forget the first year with 1+ acres. My wife and I went out onto the lawn, each with just a rake. The breezes blew down the leaves at twice the rate we were removing them. After 15 minutes of this, we put the rakes away and sat outside at the back of the house and had a beer (maybe it was two) and just watched it all.

All I remember saying was "we need a better plan".

On to Autumn #35...
Nice story!

Would you be willing to tell us a bit more about that "better plan" -- clearly you're not still doing a pair of rakes or you would have moved to a different home long before autumn #35...

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PSU4ME
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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by PSU4ME » September 26th, 2020, 7:47 pm

Wasn’t looking to fertilize with the CC, more promote the trichoderma but it might be too late. So many pines around me I need to import leaves.

I’ll settle for a little rain.


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andy10917
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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by andy10917 » September 26th, 2020, 9:23 pm

I wasn't thinking that you were using the CC as fertilizer. It is often used (although sawdust is better) as an appetizer to build the microherd to be ready to consume more lignin-containing material. Too late for that now.

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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by bpgreen » September 26th, 2020, 11:50 pm

What is CC?

no leaves to speak of here. They all blew off in the windstorm a few weeks ago.

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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by Masbustelo » September 27th, 2020, 5:07 am

Cracked Corn

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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by edslawn » September 27th, 2020, 10:06 am

My big hardwoods are starting to turn and getting ready for the big show. I've had some leaves coming down early but not much. Time to sharpen up the blades on the tractor! As a bonus, we finally got some rain yesterday and this morning.


Image


Image

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andy10917
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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by andy10917 » September 27th, 2020, 10:21 am

Would you be willing to tell us a bit more about that "better plan" -- clearly you're not still doing a pair of rakes or you would have moved to a different home long before autumn #35...
OK, you asked for it. It's not a single discovery that was a "Eureka" moment, though - it's a series of incremental steps and learnings over 25 of the 35 years. Here's what the front lawn looked like in Year One:

Image


Remember, this is 1986 and there was no Internet. The house looks nothing like the picture anymore. Lessons were learned by talking to people and reading books. The dark brown stuff in the lower left quadrant was some form of a moss that took years to beat. There is also an 11-12' drop between the house and the street. Using lawn tractors, push blowers, lawn mowers, etc can only be done safely across the hill (not up-and-down). Running equipment on a tilt all day long has resulted in numerous blown engines due to oil being at one end of the crankcase and/or blown transmissions. In the end, only the lawn mower is allowed on the front lawn. The prevailing Fall winds blow from the left to the right, delivering several inches of leaves from the woods to the lawn. So, here are some learnings and tactics tried:
1986 - 1990: rakes and Lil Giant push blower: make several piles and drag them to Mt. Compost on 12' x 12' tarps. Lil Giant push blower seizes and blows up.
1991-1994: first back blower. Same pile tactic as previous.
1995-2000: boys are old enough to participate, and the idea of chopping up the leaves with the mower first and then moving them to Mt Compost improves things
2000-2005: technique of chopping leaves with tractor in back yard with tractor and fine-chopping with push-mower arises. Some chopped leaves are spread back onto lawn.
2005-2010: Mt Compost reaches 15' high and 60' long. Boys have moved out, and I can't drag the leaves up the side of Mt Compost any more. We notice lawn/soil is better where the mulched leaves have been spread the previous year. Tractor's automatic transmission blows up during a Reno of Front Yard.
2010-Current: Full mulching of all leaves. Mt Compost shrinks. Back blower, push mower and tractor are the solution to go forward. Mrs10917 and I can handle the job (both over 65 yrs old).

OM levels are, ummm, quite acceptable,

Lawn now looks like this:

Image

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 27th, 2020, 2:21 pm

andy10917 wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 10:21 am
Would you be willing to tell us a bit more about that "better plan" -- clearly you're not still doing a pair of rakes or you would have moved to a different home long before autumn #35...
OK, you asked for it. It's not a single discovery that was a "Eureka" moment, though - it's a series of incremental steps and learnings over 25 of the 35 years. ...

2010-Current: Full mulching of all leaves. ...
Thanks, Andy, for the chronology, as well as the photos. (We like pics!) It helps to see how others also changed their practices over time with learning new approaches, techniques, and tips.

We've been doing leaf mulching with the mower almost exclusively since becoming readers of this site in 2014. We still have tended to blow the leaves off of current renovations, rather than mulching in the leaves, just to ensure that any just-emerging seedlings don't find themselves covered by mulched leaf litter -- other than that, we've mulched in all the leaves that have ended up in our lawn (which is quite a lot, as we're also surrounded by woods.)

The OM content of our soil has been steadily increasing, too, for which I think leaf mulching is one of the contributing factors. (The other big ones being presence of earthworms and root cycling from healthy grass.)

edslawn
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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by edslawn » September 28th, 2020, 6:37 pm

ken-n-nancy wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 2:21 pm
andy10917 wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 10:21 am
Would you be willing to tell us a bit more about that "better plan" -- clearly you're not still doing a pair of rakes or you would have moved to a different home long before autumn #35...
OK, you asked for it. It's not a single discovery that was a "Eureka" moment, though - it's a series of incremental steps and learnings over 25 of the 35 years. ...

2010-Current: Full mulching of all leaves. ...
Thanks, Andy, for the chronology, as well as the photos. (We like pics!) It helps to see how others also changed their practices over time with learning new approaches, techniques, and tips.

We've been doing leaf mulching with the mower almost exclusively since becoming readers of this site in 2014. We still have tended to blow the leaves off of current renovations, rather than mulching in the leaves, just to ensure that any just-emerging seedlings don't find themselves covered by mulched leaf litter -- other than that, we've mulched in all the leaves that have ended up in our lawn (which is quite a lot, as we're also surrounded by woods.)

The OM content of our soil has been steadily increasing, too, for which I think leaf mulching is one of the contributing factors. (The other big ones being presence of earthworms and root cycling from healthy grass.)
I love the updates with pics too. The KNN renos are always fun to follow.

I had to laugh as i watched the winds pick up today and the leaves started to come down. Yellow leaves sprinkled all over.

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andy10917
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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by andy10917 » October 3rd, 2020, 3:38 pm

The October winds still have not picked up, so while today's (Week 2) leaves were easier than normal, the crop is gonna be tough the week after the winds do arrive. 1.5" of rain this week was appreciated but didn't bring down the leaves in any substantial way. Week #1's crop was nowhere to be found, meaning the microherd is on-the-job.

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Re: Game On for Autumn Leaves!!

Post by northeastlawn » October 3rd, 2020, 6:51 pm

I could stand to wait a few weeks for the leaves, I was planning on my 3rd and last pre-m around the 2nd week of October. I was never sure of a lot of mulched leaves in the lawn messed pop the pre-m getting into the soil.

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