Fall Garden Care: The Easy Way to Clean Up Leaves

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Leaves fallen from trees provide winter mulch protection for plants, but they can also make the garden look messy and unkempt. Cleaning up the garden in the fall for me means removing fallen leaves, and then adding them back as a layer of mulch. There must be an easy way to clean up leaves!The EASY way to clean up fall leaves from your yard and garden

My garden is a small urban landscape full of trees and without a lot of lawn. While I don?t have a large space, my garden beds are underneath trees that are constantly dropping leaves, flowers, and petals on the garden. While I like the woodland garden concept where the trees and plants provide nutrition and protection to the plants by naturally providing a layer of compost onto the soil, it does look a bit messy and I can use some help.

I was grateful when I was contacted by Toro, who offered to send me an . It?s just the tool that I needed to do the trick, making fall cleanup easier and more fun.

Please note that Toro sent me the blower vac to try out at no cost. The opinions in this post remain my own.Toro UltraPlus Blower Vac

This was my first time using a blower vac, and I thought that I could simply use the vacuum to suck up the leaves from the garden beds, shrubs, perennials, and rock gardens. Nope! Upon reading the manual I realized that this was not a good idea. The garden waste is sucked up in the vacuum and goes into a powerful leaf shredder which then deposits mulched leaves into a bag. If something hard like sticks, rocks, or acorns gets into the leaf shredder, it can damage the mechanism.Cleaning up the garden with Toro

Instead, they recommend that you blow the leaves out of the garden area into a pile. Then use the vacuum attachment to suck up all the leaves in the pile. This will mulch the leaves and deposit them into the bag. The mulched leaves are then available for you to add as a top dressing to the garden beds or into your compost bin.The easy way to mulch leaves

This process worked very well. It was easy to blow all of the leaves out from underneath the trees, around the plants, off the rocks, out of the fountains, and from all the different landscaping in the garden. Once it was all in a pile, it was just as easy to use the vacuum attachment. The vacuum attachment is parallel to your body, so you just have to stand over the pile to suck up all the leaves into the bag, which has a shoulder strap. All in all, it?s a great design and one that made fall cleanup an easy task this year.

So what to do with all those mulched leaves? It?s garden gold! Add mulched leaves into your compost bin and it will speed up the amount of time that it takes for your compost to break down and become nutrient-rich material. Or use the mulch leaves as a layer of cover over the soil in the winter. This decreases soil erosion, adds material that will compost onto the soil, and protects roots from colder temperatures.

Look for the at select Toro dealers, . (Please note that these are affiliate links.)

Read more about fall garden tasks and cleaning up the garden in this !

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I keep seeing these gorgeous pumpkin flower arrangements at florists, farmers markets, and online. A collection of blooms tightly packed into a bright orange pumpkin just screams ?fall.? It?s an elegant take on fall decorating: setting the table for Thanksgiving dinner, adorning the mantle for the season change, or even to give as gifts. I know I would love to receive one of these gorgeous pumpkins, and they will be just as rewarding to give!How to Make Fabulous Pumpkin Flower Arrangements for Fall

How to Make Pumpkin Flower Arrangements

With flower arranging, the artistry is in the design and it?s not as easy as it looks. But if you want to take a stab at creating your own pumpkin flower arrangement then here is how to do it.

Materials

  • Fresh pumpkin
  • Knife
  • Clear plastic
  • Wet
  • Flowers, leaves, berries, succulents
  • Scissors

Tailgating Fall Style with floral pumpkins

Make it!
Cut the top off your pumpkin so that you have a fairly wide opening near the center of your pumpkin. Scoop out the guts and make these addictive .

Line the inside of the pumpkin with a sheet of plastic. This will hold some of the moisture in when you water the floral foam.

Cut a piece a floral foam with the knife to a size that will fit inside the pumpkin. Soak the foam in water while you prepare your flowers.

Choose flowers with strong straight stems that are freshly cut, either or a purchased bouquet.

Insert the floral foam into the inside of the pumpkin and create your arrangement. Start with flowers, then add leaves, berries, and other embellishments to create a full and interesting arrangement.

Items collected from the garden will shine in a new way when displayed in a pumpkin vase like this one I spotted at Vancouver florist .Pumpkin Floral Arrangement

You can even pop the top like on this other creative arrangement. Hold it on with a piece of floral wire inserted into the floral foam (also from Flowerz).Pretty Pumpkin Flower Arrangement

I even made up one with some tender succulents for my garden. As the weather starts to get cooler, the , so why not bring them in, plant them in a pumpkin, and enjoy them for as long as you can? I didn?t use floral foam for the succulents but instead filled the inside of the pumpkin with indoor potting soil. I do this for my outdoor pumpkins every year. You can see a whole bunch of them .Succulent pumpkin Table setting

Pumpkins don?t have to have all of the fun, this works well with gourds too!

Pumpkin and Gourds with Succulents

More Fabulous Fall Ideas

 

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