Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Calming Chores

October 15th, 2014

‘Tis the season for mulch making once again. When the beautiful fall leaves flutter down from their places up high I get out my trusty push mower and start making mulch. It’s a calming chore, something that goes on and one but the mindless of it allows me the time to think. I mow and empty, mow and empty, mow and empty, then I push my wheelbarrow to the place in the garden I’m covering with mulch.
It’s a chore I absolutely love this time of year, it’s time consuming, but it’s rewarding. Not only do you get to see the results of your efforts this fall with beautifully mulched garden areas, but come spring there will be virtually no weeds anywhere. That allows me to spend my spring starting seeds and planting seedlings. It’s also nice to spend as many days in the garden as possible before the snow flies. I also use chopped leaves in my various coops, the chickens/ducks LOVE them and it saves me purchasing litter at the feed store.

Do you use fall leaves as mulch in the garden? 

4 Comments to “Calming Chores”
  1. Lorna on October 15, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I looked out the window this morning to find a carpet of leaves covering my backyard. But, we’ll have to wait until after the rain to start mowing/raking/chipping/mulching. I’m doing an experiment this year–last year the leaves were piled high on the garden, but by spring they had barely broken down and actually created a bit of a problem when they compacted together. This year, we’ll be more diligent about only putting leaves that have been mower-mulched on one half of the garden. The other half gets leaves that are being put through the chipper. I’m also hoping to chip a good deal of downed branches to use as mulch, at least in the pathways, but perhaps the beds as well.
    As for leaves and animals–a friend of mine keeps goats and feeds them leaves year-round. She says they keep them free of worms! She’s been doing this for over a decade without any medical intervention and her herd has been worm-free in an area where other people are having problems. I wonder if they have the same effect on chickens/ducks?

    Reply to Lorna's comment

  2. Nebraska Dave on October 15, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Susy, this year I’m not going as hog wild as last year with leaf mulching. You can remember last year I snagged almost 1000 neighborhood yard bags of leaf/grass mulch to spread a foot deep over all the garden area at Terra Nova Garden. This did indeed keep most of the weed issues from getting totally out of hand. Most of Terra Nova laid fallow this year because of the weather and growing conditions and well the lack of time because of family and health reasons. The mulching technique was not intended for me to turn into compost immediately but to be a mulch weed barrier. The foot of loose leaf/grass mixture became about six inches of mulch in the spring and about four inches by the fall. This year won’t be a year of massive mulching like last year. As the garden becomes more developed the mulching will be reduced but the first year was given the deep mulch to begin the weed control process. In my humble opinion, leaf/grass mixture chopped through the lawn mower is the best mulch ever.

    Have a great fall garden mulching day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  3. Melanie in California on October 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Not exactly. Several years ago we got some Babydoll sheep to help with weed control around the home place. They free-range during the day and do a great job of keeping the weeds, Bermuda and Johnson Grass mostly at bay but they also Hoover up all the leaves within minutes of their hitting the ground. So instead of leaves to shred and compost, I get pellets of pre-processed leaves and vegetation dispersed around the place.

    Reply to Melanie in California's comment

  4. Amy on October 15, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    We have done this, mowing leaves several times over until they make a great mulch, for several years with great success. Although, this year I have planted a cover crop of Tatsoi (mustard) hoping it will add extra nutrients to the soil. Now I am not sure what to do. I think I will experiment with adding mulch around and below the cover crop, with different amounts in different areas.

    Reply to Amy's comment

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Sweet Littles

Our guinea hen has been doing a great job rearing her littles. We haven't had much luck letting them raise...