Saturday, 06 January, 2001

Yard Cleanup

The last few days have been very good reminders of why I like Central Texas so much.  Today was clear, calm, and 70 degrees  It hasn't rained in a while and the ground's finally dry enough that I can get the lawn tractor out in the back.  We have a dozen oaks, and countless elms and mesquite trees that shed an amazing number of leaves, most of which will end up in the swimming pool if I don't clean them up.  In previous years, I'd rake the leaves into long rows and then use my little shredder to suck them up.  Since I had to mow anyway, today I used the lawn mower to catch the leaves along with the grass clippings.  The picture at the right shows my truck heaping with leaves and grass (mostly leaves).  Debra and I pulled four such loads out of the yard today, and I'll probably pull another truckload from along the fences and other places that I couldn't reach with the lawn tractor.

So where do the leaves end up?  The first year we lived here I just piled the leaves behind the garage and sent them to the dump with the trash—a little at a time. One year I burned them along with a bunch of limbs I'd pruned from the trees, and twice I hauled them over to a neighbor who was using leaves as mulch.  Now, though, they go into my compost bins.  All those leaves and grass filled my three empty 4x4x4 compost bins.  They compact nicely when they're wetted down.  I'll add kitchen scraps and other yard trash to the bins, and by the end of the summer I'll have one bin of finished compost.