I rake my leaves, not much, and the neighbors, big pile, on my beds after
they freeze up, which is very soon. Waiting like this gives less habitat to
the mice and more constant conditions to the bulbs. By June the leaves have
For my lawn I rake in black compost right after the thaw. My lawn is nice
and green all year this way. (I stopped using chemical lawn amendments
three years ago.) In fact there is a sharp green line between me and the
Isn't that fun? I had the same situation with the lawn at my prior house,
except I never had enough compost to share between vegetables & grass. But,
I didn't bag the grass, and I mowed it as high as the mower could go. My
neighbor, on the other hand, was a ChemLawn addict, and mowed his lawn like
it was a putting green. Mine looked gorgeous, and his looked like it was
close to death, except for 2 weeks in the Spring. He was constantly coming
over and asking me what secret stuff I was using. He refused to believe that
the answer was "nothing". This went on for 10 years. The dummy never
I have a similar neighbor. He asks how my lawn is so thick, green,
and free from weeds. I tell him I mulch mow high and often and
overseed in the fall. He continues to scalp his lawn, dumps the
clippings into the stream, it's full of crab grass, has bare spots,
etc. He bought the same kind of mower I use--still he doesn't have a
I should add that now that I'm divorced, my teenage son has taken over the
mowing chores. The neighbor now interrogates *him* about our deep, dark
secret. My son, who inherited my evil mind, has two ideas, both of which I
1) Come up with some sort of concoction that's harmless to people, plants
and cats, and give the neighbor the recipe. Tell him it's what we use, and
that when he used to see me out at night having a cigarette, I was preparing
to apply the stuff with a spray bottle. Sample recipe: A strained broth made
after boiling broccolli stems, dogwood bark and <fill in the blank>. Maybe
2) One part of our lawn consisted of 50% bindweed at certain times of year.
Awful weed, but when the grass was suffering in hot weather, the bindweed
was rockin', so at least it was soft and green. My son wants to give the
neighbor a few diggings of bindweed, and tell him it helps keep nitrogen
available to the lawn.
If you've ever inquired at a cooperative extension about getting rid of
bindweed, they'll tell you that you need to use chemicals which make agent
orange look like herb tea. :-)
Now this is malicious and is probably actionable in court. In fact it
breaks some laws about proliferation of noxious weeds. Since you
published this in this thread, you can't plead ignorance and deny
Field bindweed is a declared plant (noxious weed) throughout Western
Australia and many other places. It is illegal to grow it and any
plants found must be destroyed.
University of Nebraska recommends fall is an excellent time to apply
herbicides for control of perennial weeds like Canada thistle, field
bindweed and leafy spurge. Oregon State University agrees with this and
suggests that application timing be about 1 week prior to the first
Are you saying that boiling water isn't safe??? It is one of the oldest
herbicides known to mankind. Others include the absence of light and
fire, both of which have been used for centuries. It is possible to
kill plants safely even if you are afraid of more complex chemicals.
When we bought the house we're in now, it had serious drainage problems
in the back yard. Any heavy rain would result in a sheet of water
sweeping across the yard and down toward the house (yes, it's Florida,
but it has some slope nonetheless), with often a large pool between our
house and the next door neighbor. Oh, and sometimes it hit the crawl
space access door and ran under the house.
Doesn't happen any more.
Oh, at first we built a bit of a berm to divert the flow away from the
house. And we had gutters put on the house and piped the water to the
ditch, which helped some with the pools.
But mostly what I did was the same as you: nothing. Didn't hire a yard
man to come in with his boom-boom tractor mower every week and scalp
the yard to within an inch of its life (like the previous owner and
probably the one before her). Didn't go woosh woosh with a leaf blower
and take away the dead leaves and cut grass and other organic material.
Let the weeds grow where the ground had been made bare by mowing where
no grass grew anyway. And lo and behold, after a year or so, the rain
no longer ran off. Am I not a genius? That or lazy.
Oh, I want to get rid of the grass. I'm trying to kill it. I have too
much shade for a good lawn. I'd rather have flower beds and bushes and
use some liriope where I need ground cover. But the principle is the
interesting... did I read it on here that earthworms arent native to the US? and
that the earthworm activity in forests is overworking the soil in forests
lower fertility. Ingrid
List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List
Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame
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