November 08, 2017
November is a good time to get your garden pathways mulched so you don't have to walk in mud all winter. Leaves are plentiful this time of year so that's what I use. They stay in the low spots, which my pathways are, so l don't need to continually rake them back. They would best serve the soil if they were run over with a lawnmower and sprinkled on the beds, but I've got sufficient compost for that.
After walking on them all winter they will be pretty much gone by spring time which is when I'll use straw to mulch the pathways. It really brighens up the garden after a winter of gray skies and brown earth. My pathways curve all throughout the garden and sometimes I think " follow the yellow brick road".
November 10, 2017
I got to pick spinach, chard, and kale yesterday with beets, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts ready to be picked today. It's been an abundant fall harvest this year with only broccoli lacking. It got planted late because there was so much else to pick, and it's last on my list of tasty veggies. I found a new way to wash the leaves of leafy plants. I used to use a bowl and a colander, but the colander doesn't give you any information on how clean the leaves are, whereas a bowl with the water remaining in it does. Now I use two bowls.
I pick into one, fill it with water, pinch a few leaves at the side and slosh them around a bit. I put them into the empty bowl and work my way through the full bowl until it's empty. Then you can see in the water remaining all of the debris that came off the leaves. I dump it out and fill up the bowl that has the leaves in it and repeat the process. I found out why "tripple wash" is the standard, because that's usually how many it takes to get them clean.
November 11, 2017
The tallest grasses from the Fall rains are growing under the oak trees. The oak leaves are jagged on the sides, and curl up as they dry, allowing light to hit the grass. The tallest seed stalks from last summer are also under the oak trees, a testament to how rich the soil is after so many years of decomposed leaves. The Black walnut leaves turn black and curl up before I can gather them, and the grass under the trees is thick. Those leaves are supposed to inhibit plant growth but apparently not Burmuda grass. The Poplar leaves turn translucent before they decompose allowing light to reach the grass.
The grass grows up pushing the leaves off the ground. I've learned that not all leaves left on the grass will kill it. The cherry, pear and apple leaves circle the tree out to the drip line. I enjoy eating cherries, pears and apples more than I enjoy mowing grass so I should just leave them. Better yet I should rake them in around the tree and put a layer of coarse compost or straw over them.