One last mow turns fallen leaves into something smaller

Yard with leaves down in Syracuse, N.Y.

Our side yard before Mulch Madness.

Welcome to Mulch Madness.

Most of the leaves around our house in Syracuse, N.Y., are down. Oh, there are some stragglers still up on the most stubborn of trees, but to my eyes, they’re far enough from our lawn proper to remain off our little piece of the earth after they fall.

Saturday was indeed that warm day the weather folks told us we’d enjoy, with a bright sun to boot.

Out came my mower for that one final push around the lawn. My prep work consisted of raking out from around the fence and other natural borders, pulling the leaves toward the middle. That made them readily available for the taking.

For this lawn-cutting finale, I take the collection bag off the back of the mower. The black plastic flap flips down. It becomes a very proficient mulching machine.

Yes, it’s a ritual. Call it a rite of autumn, if you’d like.

Mulched and mowed yard in Syracuse, N.Y.

After the last mow. The leaves were no match.

And once again, on Nov. 16, 2013, the brown, crumbly leaves were no contest for the spinning blade under the deck. The yellow ones faced the shredding, too. Even those still slightly green were prepared for that trip back down into the earth.

The experts say the fallen remnants will do the lawn good over our snowy winter. As an added bonus, the little bits look way better to my eye than those big, old leaves.

Without the step of emptying the grass bag into the recyclable brown paper lawn bag, the process went fast. In the back, a couple of Ellie B-bombs were added to the fertilizing formula.

Lawn mower after final cut in Syracuse, N.Y.

Take the grass catcher off the back and mulch. Voila.

As I pushed the mower back into the shed, I figure that’s where it will stay until April. I have none of the sadness I felt when I pulled my golf clubs out of my trunk to store them for the winter.

The late news last night carried a forecast of stiff winds as a cold front moves through this afternoon. The weather woman predicted gusts over 50 mph. Any remaining leaves, high or low here in our city neighborhood of Eastwood, are likely to be no match. Stay in your own yard, please and thank you.

My Mulch Madness is done.

6 thoughts on “One last mow turns fallen leaves into something smaller

  1. I am so impressed! Our grass is a couple of inches – well near to five – high and so wet we can’t touch it with the mower. Snow is forecast. There is a twenty foot poplar tree still loaded with leaves. But your lawn looks all ready for winter – well done you. Put your feet up.


    • It always adds to the labor of the season when the first big snow comes when there are still leaves on the trees. Yes, today my lawn is ready for winter, Rachel. But as I look to the neighbor across the street, her grandchildren decided to rake the leaves from her lawn into a big pile at the curb. The big wind just might blow them all over my front lawn. But I will listen to you and put my feet up nevertheless!


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