Are you a raker or a mulcher?

Posted in Mom Stuff
by Jennifer

When it comes to leaves, I have decided there are two types of people in this world — rakers and mulchers.

In the raking category, I would include blowers. Different device, same result. These are people who get a great workout every autumn by pushing, pulling, blowing, wishing, whatever it takes, to get the leaves from their grass to the curb, where they hope they will be collected by the city’s big leaf vacuum before they blow back onto their lawn. 

In their determination to get every leaf out of their yard, some rakers will be so bold as to push the leaves into the street.

Now, I can understand that you don’t want a pile of dead leaves sitting on your still-green grass for days on end, or you’ll have dead grass to match the leaves. But I get very annoyed with these raking (or blowing) aficionados. Where do they think the leaves go? They blow around and land in someone else’s yard! Or worse, they become a traffic obstacle. Personally, I don’t steer around these piles. Call it passive aggression if you must, but if you’re going to throw your leaves into my lane of traffic, I’m going to mess up your pile. If I’m lucky, I’ll throw some of those leaves back on your lawn.

I had to laugh last week when I saw two extreme examples of craziness when it comes to leaf management. One guy on South Court Street was using his weed whacker (the string kind) to blow a couple of leaves toward the curb. Another guy on East Smith Road was using an industrial-sized blower on his postage-stamp front yard. Did he want to blow them directly to the landfill? I feared my minivan would blow away along with his leaves. 

The other group of people are leaf mulchers. Yes, this is the group that my husband is in. He would rather push his mulching mower around the yard and suck up the leaves, which get shredded inside the bag, and dump the bag in the wooded area at the back of our lot, than deal with them blowing around the front yard. Because they are mulched and shredded, the leaf particles aren’t as visible and cause less trouble if they do get loose. And, I’d like to think it’s better for the soil in our back yard. Call it composting lite.

Now, if I could manage to blow or rake the leaves to the curb just as the leaf collector was turning the corner onto my street, I would argue that is the better way to go. Let the city deal with the leaves. At least they aren’t piling up in my bushes.

But since that is almost never the case, I have to say that I prefer my husband’s method.

And, since he does it without expectation that I’ll help, I am 100% in favor of mulching.

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