April 22, 2013
SOGGY LEAVES – LESS WEEDS
Growing flowers for beautiful bouquets is a year long commitment. Success requires a huge dose of “if ‘x’ then ‘y’.”
This is especially true in the fall when gardens need to be “put to bed” for the winter. If beds stay uncovered all winter the gardener is then faced with cranky, weedy beds in the spring that require additional time and work.
As messy a job as it can be, I make sure all my beds are tucked in with wet leaves, thoroughly covering the soil. I choose wet leaves as opposed to dry as they stick around on a windy winter day. Luckily there is an abundance of deciduous leaves in the urban neighborhoods of Portland as trees have been an urban priority throughout the years. With the October rain piles of soggy leaves are easy to find. I volunteer to rake neighbors’ leaves (much to their delight) and sometimes rake them up at a nearby park. I avoid walnut tree leaves as they contain juglone, a soil toxin. Small leaves are my favorite as they are easier to manage.
Beds tucked in!
The result? Weed free beds in the spring! Ok, “weed free” is impossible but the decrease is significant! As I spring into April gardening, it is a joy to spend time getting my hands dirty waking my soil instead of pulling an excess of pesky weeds!