This was our first weekend in a long time when both of us were home all day for both days (OK, read that as I had nothing planned during the day). Once it stopped raining, we were able to gets lots of yard work done.
We cleared out the last of the compost, smothering some of the raised vegetable beds with several inches worth. That should make our plants pretty happy next spring!
Then we started making fresh compost so we’ll have plenty of good stuff for next year. We’ve learned from the past few years and have our short cuts. First we mow up the leaves with the mower, collecting them (and grass) in the bag. If most of the leaves are from our oaks, which take a long time to decompose, we then shred them a second time with a leaf blower/vacuum. Then we dump them in the bins. Today we filled two bins, 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet. Unfortunately, we hadn’t stocked up on coffee grounds this week (coffee shop by the train station knows me!) so we are relying on the grass clippings to provide enough nitrogen to ignite the heat. I’m sure we’ll add coffee grounds (also ‘green’ — leaves are carbon, ie brown) later on.
We’ll have more leaves to mulch in a few weeks. And if we don’t end up with compost, leaf mold will make us happy and replace some of the mulch we’d buy in the spring. Mike McGrath (WHYY’s You Bet Your Garden) says that while it doesn’t have the nutrients that compost has, worms love it and the casing they create are great for the soil. Here’s another take.
Vegetable beds are almost empty. The tomatoes went two weeks ago, with the aid of a three-year-old. The “volunteer” plants surprised with plenty of tomatoes. The leeks for the most part look pretty fat, and we intend to eat them around Thanksgiving. The groundhog and deer seem to leave them alone. Otherwise there’s some arugula/mixed greens that need picking.