Yesterday I put a nice layer of newspaper under my red 'japanese' maple, and topped it with pine needles harvested from the neighbor's yard. (silly guy would mow them up and bag them) More pine straw goes around my blueberries, nice and pretty. A big cardboard box is about to become a winter -roof- for my compost bin, and a pathway mat next year. And some of the tree leaves have been raked back under the trees where I hope they stay until I have time to top with a light layer of wood mulch. Yes, mulch is our friend!
Hey, what is that plant next to the Coffeegrounds header?
My neighbor burned his leaves this year. I hung in the air all day right on top of us. It looked like a hazy fog all day and it was bright and clear every where else. My whole house smoked up. In the middle of the night my son and I both woke up trying to get our breaths. On top of it all we had the flu (it is not that bad, but like a bad chest cold, and you get sleepy with it).
Anyway I like my neighbor, but I think I will do sally g's thing and ask him for his leaves next year. I put in a new blueberry patch this year and -- well anything not to have to breath them again next year!
In lots of communities, those "traditional" fall leaf burning piles have become illegal... good thing, IMO... not only from the clean air standpoint, but burning leaves can too easily float into nearby woods...
However, I remember reading that using too thick a layer of green grass clippings as mulch can actually deplete the soil beneath it of nitrogen as the clippings are breaking down. So, I mix up the green grass with compost and shredded leaves and layer that. It's amazing how quickly sheet mulching breaks down and the plants look great!
The fresh grass mulch doesn't seem to affect the plants except in a positive way. I think if you tilled in a whole lot of green stuff, you could have that problem, but putting it on the surface seems to be fine. Friends of mine have been putting fresh grass on their *big* garden for decades, and their plants grow like nobody's business. :-)