Flower Gardening: Mulch

A Blanket for the Garden

I need a ‘Leaf Mulcher.’ [Click]. What? I have very few vices.

Fall leaves are gifts for the flower beds. I started making little piles around the yard. Seems strange to say that on five acres of mostly trees, I wouldn’t have enough. But you need a level surface to rake and gather them. It was a good thing I had only a few beds to cover.

Still, I didn’t have enough leaves or the work involved in gathering them wasn’t fruitful enough. I had a bright idea to collect ‘Bracken Ferns,’ to supplement the alder leaves. I know what your thinking the spores on the leaves might be a weed issue? But on close examination there were none. I confirmed it with an assortment of Google searches. And at this time of the year, even the greenest plants had none!

dry bracken ferns
bracken ferns
blanket mulch for garden
mulch blanket

The ferns grow from rhizomes so as long as I avoided roots all was good. And the best part was the plants were all at waist height so stripping the branches was quick and easy. No racking or bending-over repeatedly.

I had to get my hubby to make me an aluminum frame to hold the mulcher over the garbage-can with wheels, and it worked like a charm. At any age, it’s best to work smarter, not harder. If you get one of these mulchers be sure to wear a mask. The dust is problematic. Gloves and safety goggles too. Safety First.

The sunny day made it wonderful to be outside. But the wind at times made me feel as if old-man-winter was trying to boss me around. After a dozen wheelbarrow loads (about 2 hours) I had mulched enough for the two 8’x10’ raised beds. As the garden plot expands I will definitely be looking fondly at my neighbor’s curb-side leaf-filled bags.

Published by Loretta Busch - Artist, Designer, Flower Gardener

Flower Gardening, Floral art, and Photography, Floral Collections, and a dream to build Cut-Flower Farm.

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