Why You Should NOT Rake Leaves But Mulch Them

Why You Should NOT Rake Leaves But Mulch Them

Boy, do I need that message!! Oops, not the answer I wanted!! I don’t own a “mulching mower.” When I saw that title, I thought I’d find a reprieve from raking leaves.

Other options

Depending on how many hardwoods you or your neighbors have, you can use leaf blowers to blow leaves into landscaped beds or use a lawn vacuum to vacuum up leaves. Leaf vacuums will produce finely chopped leaves that are excellent for placing in flower or vegetable beds. When spreading leaves in garden beds, be careful not to smother ground covers.

Whatever you do, don’t let fall leaves get away. Use them somewhere in your landscape!


cartoon-lady-raking-leavesLeaf vacuum, what’s that? I checked the Internet and found those I could afford and numerous I can’t afford. No “impulse purchase” today; I’ll “sleep on it.” This WORX would certainly take the strain off “yours truly” but, in light of recent major expenses, I may forgo the purchase.

Love my garden !!

Cape Honeysuckle close up

Cape Honeysuckle large bush

Cypress vine red blooms high in treeThe Hummingbird-Cypress Vine has climbed high up in the tree. In morning sunshine, I can see the bright red blooms. I have not observed Hummingbirds at the blooms so I won’t plant the Cypress Vine again. Frankly, I’m disappointed the Hummingbird-Trumpet Vine has not bloomed!! That, too, may be curtailed next year. The Cape Honeysuckle has been a great success!!


Butterfly Vine




Bottle Bush

Bottle Bush out of the box

Branches spread

Bottles added to Bottle Bush


Bottle Bush with plain backgroundIt’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind?! Yesterday, a friend brought me several pretty bottles (yellow, blue, & green). Recently I purchased a pretty pink vase. However, the gift, and purchases, weren’t the thing that prompted me to set up the Bottle Bush. (I “thought” I ordered a Bottle “Tree). See that extremely heavy metal garden umbrella base? It has been “out of sight” in my tarp shelter. This morning, I recognized that I could use that as a secure base for the Bottle Bush. I had planned to buy a large bag of Quikrete concrete (at Lowe’s) and prepare a heavy base (that would then reside in an attractive planter). Here’s another illustration where I’m using items on hand. (I turned a bed frame into a trellis, a chest-of-drawers into a trellis, etc., etc.)

Vinegar and olive oil containersAfterthought: You may have attractive bottles in your cupboard?! Here’s an example from my cupboard: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Balsamic Vinegar (for my salads).

Project: Garden Tower

Day one: Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.under-construction-sign


“Yours truly” wants to plant a winter garden. However, there are several things I need to accomplish before I put seeds in the soil. Over the months, the soil “settled” in my Garden Tower, and one ring considerably short of soil. Before adding soil, the compost tube needed to be emptied. Ideally, the compost would fall into the drawer at the bottom (after compost “tea” was saved, and screen removed between tube and drawer). The compost tube is packed solid so I removed “rings” (one at a time) and fished out compost. I continued to tamp the compost hoping it would fall into the drawer. No success. Then, in full sunshine, beastly hot so I was forced to abandon the project (until tomorrow morning).

Starting to clean compost tube

Pushing compost out the bottom

See the worms in my hand

See the worms in the container

Compost tube

Thermometer on wall


Worms covered with wet nightgownReady to cover the wormsThe worms will (hopefully) be cool and comfortable until I finish the project and return them to the compost tube.


Garden Tower in the sunshine

Temperature at ten indoors and outdoors


Day two: Friday, Sept. 16, 2016.under-construction-sign


Thermometer on storage building wall

Compost in drawer

No small task cleaning the tube

Clean compost tube

Hose water to settle soil

Punching to settle the soil


Day three: Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016.under-construction-sign


Temperature at seven

Day three

Water and tamping




Replacing the rings

Zip tie, ring, tube and soil

Soil returned to Garden Tower

Fresh organic soil will be added

Paper, cardboard and garbage for the tube

Paper and garbage in the tube

Sorting worms

See the worms in empty box

Empty box

Shredded paper from inside my trailer home

Shredded paper added

Temperature at ten

Temperature at two-thirty

Read Feel at three


Day four: Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016.under-construction-sign


Seventy-five at seven-twenty

Transferring soil

Added soil




Punching soil



Another bag of soil needed

Still seventy-five but out of soil


Day five: Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.under-construction-sign


Basket of seeds and gardening info

Soaking lettuce seed

Soaking Kale seeds

Organic fertilizer(s)


“Too soon old, too late smart.” I forgot to soak the lettuce seeds overnight. I could not locate Kale seeds (I “thought” I had a package)!! Other than a trip into Livingston, not much accomplished today. Purchased bulk Kale seeds at the farm store, and zip-ties at Walmart. (My compost tube is crooked so some longer ties required.) Several “impulse purchases” at Walmart: Organic additives for plants. They were drastically reduced because the Garden Shop is fast becoming a Christmas shop.


Day six: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016.under-construction-sign


Seventy-five at seven-twenty“The early bird catches the worm” can be reworded “The early gardener feeds the worm(s).” A lesson I learned from cleaning the compost tube. Chunky stuff doesn’t get eaten by the worms. Now I cut everything into smaller pieces and discard the solid core.


Ready to chop kitchen scraps

Ready for the worms

Ready to plant seeds

Please grow

Zip ties applied

No soil in top ring

From my kitchen window

fullscreen-capture-9202016-101921-am-bmpRegrettably, the rain only lasted about ten minutes. It just made the air hot and extremely humid.