« Climate change isn’t ‘nonsense’ | Main | Mom’s gratitude everlasting »

December 26, 2008

To rake or not to rake?

Jennie Sindak (12/19, Letters) wrote of her frustration with neighbors who did not rake their leaves. She raked. They didn’t. Their leaves are now her leaves all over again.

I agree with her. There is a shared price for shade if you live under the big trees. Be a good neighbor.

But be a good citizen, too. Jennie said she accumulated 34 bags of leaves. Thirty-four bags times all of the homes with leaves — that’s too much for the landfill.

Cities need to start educating everyone to mow. You mow all summer. Mow a little bit more in the fall. The cut-up leaves don’t blow away. Snow comes. They work into the lawn. Nitrogen forms. Spring comes. Grass grows again.

I live under big trees. I haven’t placed a single leaf bag at my curb in five years. I am free of that back-bending chore. You can be, too.

Please, no “mow” bags of leaves. Pun intended.

Jerry McDonald
Overland Park

Jennie Sindak complains about people not raking leaves. Guess what? I am one of them. I work 10 hours a day, and the last thing I feel like dong is going out in the cold and raking leaves.

If you want to rake your leaves, fine, rake away. But to look down on all those who don’t do so is just shallow.

Keep your nose on your side of the fence, and I will do the same.

Joe Virgo
Kansas City

Comments

Pub 17

OK, YOU said it, I didn't want to sound like an ad. Yeah, B&D Leaf Hog, and here's the REST of the story:

Go to DeWalt on Antioch or Amazon and buy a box of impeller blades, about two bucks a piece--and the center nut is threaded BACKWARDS, be forewarned. Now every time you chew up the blades with rocks and acorns you can pop on another one. Also you can either buy a couple of extra bags, and just keep changing them and let your Assistant empty them and hand them back, or you can buy the accessory bag that fits over a 55-gal drum, and stand there and empty a big pile of leaves.

But do NOT assume you want to spread that mulch on your lawn. Maple leaves are POISONOUS to other plants, because maple trees want it that way. And oak leaves are not that great for mulch, AND in a bad year they can carry pyemotes mites, which you do NOT want spread around your yard. If you don't know about these hellbeasts, picture something smaller than a redbug that tears you up worse than poison ivy.

TinaMcG

Oh, one more thing. This morning's near-hurricane force winds blew a section of shingles off our roof, but all the leaf mulch in the garden is still there, all soggy and freeze-thaw-heaving and decomposing according to plan.

TinaMcG

"There's a really, REALLY cheap and simple solution. A little research will get you the name of a name-brand, widely-sold blower/leaf vac system that mulches leaves into a fifth to a tenth of their original volume, depending on how dry they are. "

I've had a Black/Decker Leaf Hog for a few years. It works all right, but I hate it -- a real cumbersome thing. It sure chops up leaves to a fraction of the volume, though. The Ryobi we had previously was a real honey of a machine, but it choked to death on a big piece of bark mulch. R.I.P.

Pub, I hope you used those ground up leaves for mulch. Kicking them to the curb is a waste of perfectly good soil amendment. My KS license tag reads MULCH -- honk and say hi if you see me.

Kate

I suspect Joe gets quite a bit of mileage out of the “I work 10 hours a day” excuse. Here’s a better one: “Suppose I go out and rake the leaves, and while I’m working a strong wind blows a large branch out of the tree. The branch lands on my 10-year-old twins and they are killed. After working 10 hours a day, the last thing I want to do is get my family killed.” No one would argue with that excuse.

Raking leaves. It kills children.

Stifled Freedom

Joe, that works fine, but you keep your leaves on your side too. That is the problem. Other poeple dont bag thier leaves and it blow to someone else's yard.

Pub 17

There's a really, REALLY cheap and simple solution. A little research will get you the name of a name-brand, widely-sold blower/leaf vac system that mulches leaves into a fifth to a tenth of their original volume, depending on how dry they are. A season's worth of leaves for our seven full-growth trees, including three pin oaks, is maybe 10-12 of those cute little paper leaf bags. BTW, unmulched oak and maple leaves=grass death. You're all so very welcome.

GCYL

This reminds me of the ranting letters about the run off of neighbors lawn fertilizers and pesticides. Who would have thought life would become this complicated?

TinaMcG

What Joe said.

 
About KansasCity.com | About the Real Cities Network | Terms of Use & Privacy Statement | About Knight Ridder | Copyright