Leaving the Leaves


By Jannie Vaught,

If anyone is paying attention and you noticed a difference in the cold temperatures that have arrived, then you are like me scrambling for the door to bring in houseplants, dig and re-pot herbs and tender plants that you want to keep and in general covering your outside faucets and pipes.

Also, a very early harvest started on Saturday as I looked at the weather news and the lows that were heading our way. Well here it is another bought of Weird Weather. Now the to do list!

Hoops are up and covers are on, check!

All the herbs are indoors in a cool building and watered, check!

The turmeric is all harvested with great results the new crowns are planted, check!

The Moringa trees are picked of lower limbs with the bright green leaves and in the drying area, the small trunks are cut short and placed in damp potting soil to root for next year and mulch is covering the remaining stalks, check!

All done as fast as I could go.

Now for a few more items on my checklist.

Leaves are falling how do I take care of them.”Leave the leaves.”

Here are a few good reasons for those of us who want to sequester carbon in our soils, and let nature do what it is supposed to do. Recycle and provide winter habitat for creatures great and small. Did you know at the end of summer, bumblebee queens burrow just below the soil to wait out winter? Give them the extra protection they require. In the National Wildlife Federation blog post “What to do with fallen leaves.” They list the advantages of making a natural habitat for toads, turtles and all sorts of natures inhabitants find homes warmth and shelter in those leaves; and by removing them we in effect reduce their ability to survive.

And if your paying attention we are in for some Cold weather.

More than bumblebees are under the leaf piles, many species of moth and butterfly species spend their pupa stage- their non feeding period between larva and insect in fallen leaves for winter. And if you have been courting Mason or Blue bees to pollinate your gardens, they are now looking for hollow reed type branches to lay eggs in make a pollen bundle and seal closed for the larva to gestate and emerge in the warmer times of spring, when they emerge and are hungry and start collecting pollen and very effectively pollinate your garden. How easy is that, simply leave some leaves and some sticks and twigs or even a Mason bee house and you are setting up for a successful garden. If you simply cannot do some raking, how about making long rows, or raking them to the flower bed.

I sometimes take some leaves for my compost pile, but this year with all the drought, flooding rain and now extreme early cold I am letting nature keep her warm blanket of leaves. I’m “Leaving the Leaves” and a big plus, I really dislike the job of raking.

Out growing green and providing for the spring with Jannie