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Thread: Raking teh leaves

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break

    Raking teh leaves

    I used to love making leaf piles and jumping into them when I was a kid and didn't understand why my dad was such a killjoy about raking leaves in the fall. Now my boy is always pushing me to make him some leaf piles to jump into (and spread all the leaves around in the process). Now I'm the killjoy.

    The silver lining is that at least leaves are a decent material to compost - which is good for the garden, but the trouble is the amount I can compost is a mere tithe of the quantity that ends up in our yard. At least we have city-sponsored leaf pickup, and they'll pick up leaves you leave curbside on certain dates. There's a burn ban in town, and I don't mind my taxes going towards paying for this useful service.

    Does anyone here still burn their leaves? (I love the scent of burning leaves hanging in the crisp autumn air on a sunny Saturday afternoon)
    or do you live in an apartment or condo where that's taken care of for you?

    What do you do with your leaves?
    Last edited by Maister; 05 Nov 2012 at 9:50 AM.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    When I had a house I would set my mower to mulch and mulch em and leave em.

    Now that I am in a condo, I am not sure what happens as they are gone by the time I get home.

    For the cabin in the middle of an area known for its National and State forests, I pay some guy to rake mine and take them to the giant leaf pile at the dump.

    I tried raking them myself once and I filled nearly 150 bags. Transporting them to the dump in my Taurus was no picnic. Had to make probably 25 trips.

    Yeah there are a lot of leaves. I have about a quarter acre and have tried to count the number of trees on it several times only to quit because there are too many!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Mar 2007
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    My dad still burns his leaves on occasion, especially in the summer. They live out in the sticks and he will rake all the leaves and small fallen branches into the front ditch and burn them in there.

    The first couple of years in my house I would rake and bag all of my leaves and usually ended up putting about 100+ bags at the curb over the course of the fall. I've thought about leaving them on the ground to compost but we get so many leaves, especially in our backyard, that we would literally have about a foot deep pile of them across the entire yard. Even with sending the lawnmower over them, they are still too thick and don't breakdown fast enough. Now I pay to have somebody come take them away all at once (they are scheduled to come this week). They blow them out of all the flower beds and rake them into a few large piles and then suck them up into a truck with a gigantic vacuum hose. It takes them about 30 minutes to do what would take me an entire weekend, and their results are much better than mine, so it's worth the fee to me.

    If I lived a couple blocks to the east, I would just have to rake the leaves into street and the city would pick them up - they do so a few times a month in the fall. But they don't offer that service in my neighborhood.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    May 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I have no trees in the yards at my new house. There are trees along my rear property line adjacent to the railroad R.O.W but they're mostly pine trees. We'll be planting some trees in the front yard next spring to improve the streetscape, but overall, I'm enjoying the lack of trees. Less leaves, birds and squirrels. I don't like leaves, birds nor squirrels.

    I can't stand the smell of burning leaves.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Jul 2006
    Slightly Off-Center
    The leaves from our trees get mulched but when the neighbor's humongous oak trees let go and end up in our yard, they get bagged for pickup. That's in the city. At our place in the country, we burn them. When the pine trees drop their needles, some go for mulch, some get burned.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
    Jun 2004
    near the edge
    I compost my leafs. I have several different species of deciduous trees that all seem to drop at different times. The biggest issue I have is that my greens (nitrogen) are readily available in the spring/summer and browns in the fall. I used to stock pile my leafs by keeping them bagged up until i needed them. However this summer I acquired several bales of straw that got rained on, which I used with my grass clippings. So I am planning on using some alfalfa cubes for my leafs when i finish collecting my leafs here soon. I use the compost in the garden and I am trying to stock pile some to top dress my yard when I resow it next fall.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
    Nov 2009
    The Glass City
    We have just over an acre and about 1/4 of the yard is all trees. Needless to say we get a lot of leaves. We have, in fact, de-leafed the yard 3 times already this year and it still looks like we haven't touched it. I love it!

    For the front yard, I use the blower to get the majority of leaves off the public sidewalk and into our yard, then rake them into tidy little mounds under our burning bushes. I just let them do their happy little leaf thing right there. In the rest of the yard, I just mulch up what falls into the large grassy portion of the yard with the mower. Around the periphery of the yard, I just blow or rake them into the woodsy area of my yard.

    We have a lot of oak trees, which also means we have a lot of squirrels, blue jays, and deer. I love my yard!!!
    Occupy Your Brain!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    Timely thread, as I raked yesterday. I only bother with a part of our property, and the leaves get deposited in the treeline to decay and hopefully keep down the unwanted plants.

    Raking leaves always makes me think back to when I was a kid. Grandma and Grandpa would usually pick us up on Friday for that last weekend at the cottage. My parents and older siblings would come up the next day. Grnadpa would rake the leaves from the entire yard into the ditch and then set the thing on fire. Smoke would cover the road. Flames would shoot ten feet into the air. It was one of the high points of the season. Funny how some things stick with you. Although they sold the cottage in 1984 I still have dreams about going "up" there (it is actually south of where I now live).
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
    Nov 2006
    Jamestown, New York
    I blow mine from the back yard down the driveway and then rake them to the side next to the curb. I then rake the leaves in the front yard out to the curb because if I blow them, they'll get caught in the rose hedge. The city then comes through with their vacuum truck and sucks them all away. They must really like the little garden I planted around the crabapple they planted in the ROW a couple of years ago because they vacuumed the garden area, too, even moving the soaker hose I had set down to keep the tree and garden watered when it was so dry this past summer.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  10. #10
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
    Jan 2006
    Loma Linda's
    No reason to go crazy in the fall. Get the rest in March/April.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
    Mar 2002
    Upper left edge
    What are these leaves of which you speak? Pine needles for me, baby! No raking. Seems like we just track them into the house and then vacuum them up.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
    Mar 2005
    In a 480 square foot ex baseball nacho stand
    The old house is now rented. I don't have to get those leaves up anymore...and there was/is a ton of them because we have so many oaks.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
    Jan 2009
    Remote command post at local bar
    I rake up all the leaves of whatever tree I have into a giant pile. Let the kids jump into it. It's always an argument over who goes first. Then after they tear up the pile I make them help me bag it up so it can all go away.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  14. #14
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    May 2003
    Staff meeting
    I hate raking, but do indulge the boys with a pile they can jump in. Then I rake it to the curb, where it is collected by the City.

    Although, I hate raking leaves, I find the silver lining that it provides some good exercise. And I hate the sounds of a leave blower, so I refuse on principal to get one.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
    Jul 2003
    Down by Dun Ringill
    Blog entries
    My piddly little trees don't shed enough leaves to be much of a problem.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  16. #16
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Dec 2005
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Blog entries
    I have a tiny back yard so no trees. The big trees are out front, but again I don't have a front yard so there's nothing to rake up. I picked up rt from the sitter yesterday and there was a pile of leaves next to the car. She said "Look mama, leaves!" and then took a giant handful and threw them up in the air several times and just giggled as they fell on her head
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  17. #17
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Jul 2009
    Colo Front Range
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    What do you do with your leaves?
    Compost. My pile has been hot for three weeks and is moving along nicely.
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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