Autumn Leaves…

  • el
  • pt
  • We started the day with a couple of hundred bulbs to plant and no bone meal, so off we went in the mumps-mobile (quarantine on wheels) on the great bone meal hunt. On our way we stopped off in a few church parking lots, hoping to gather some data for Betsy’s ad hoc survey of Republican deceit, but contrary to expectations no leafleting was happening outside the churches.

    The local big boxes, Farm & Fleet and Menards, had packed up the gardening stuff and moved the pink plastic Barby crap into the aisles in preparation for Xmas. (I hope everyone will join me early this year in my campaign to secularize Xmas). So off we went to Jung’s nursery, where not only was there plenty of bone meal but also a half price sale on bulbs. We bought quite a few bulbs.

    At home I raked the leaves off the beds (again), piled them in the gravel driveway, and burned them. I cut down the dead hollyhock stalks and tossed them on the fire. Beth printed out the spring pictures of the beds so we knew where there was room for more bulbs and then we planted. And we planted. And we planted. At the end of the day we still had a few hundred bulbs left to plant, which made me very grateful for the half price sale at Jung’s. I’d hate to actually make progress.

    I love how smoky I smell right now. There’s something about burning leaves.

    Posted in Farm Almanac
    4 comments on “Autumn Leaves…
    1. Doug Alder says:

      Why not compost the leaves instead of burning them? Better for your garden and the atmosphere.

    2. I always compost leaves, but I had special circumstances for this fire. The hollyhocks were host this summer to a thriving colony of Japanese beetles, and rather than drag the woody remains of that plant to the brush pile I decided to burn them in place. In order to do that, I needed a fire with sufficient fuel. In order to plant bulbs I needed to clear the leaves off the beds. Those leaves and some that were drifting across the driveway were fuel for my fire.

    3. Pardon my ignorance, and faulty memory . . . but is it not illegal to burn leaves, or is that just a NY thing? I recall the smell of burning leaves in the fall, and recently that smell was in the air around here (some miscreant or perhaps a show of civil disobedience?). It is a lovely smell, but I believe NY outlawed it due to some poisonous effect or other such ill public health concerns.

      This also promoted recall of raking leaves as a little ‘un, an early endeavor into being an entrepreneur and the world of self-employment.

    4. Here in rural Dane County it remains legal to burn leaves. Generally I don’t burn, preferring to compost them or use them as mulch on the heavy clay soil. Also, I have an environmentalist’s sensitivity to limiting the return of CO2 and CO to the air after ma nature has been kind enough to sequester it in the leaves. That said, sometimes it’s better to burn the leaves and the brush piles than to let them return to soil. For example, if you’re trying to raise carrots commercially that brush pile — bunny habitat — by the garden just has to go!



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