Sunday, October 30, 2016

Leaves, Raked (Round Two)

     Bagged the leaves from front yard.  Raked up the back yard and spent a lot of time pulling up Virginia Creeper -- or, as I am coming to know it, "Yankee Kudzu."  It's slower but persistent and it makes raking difficult.  Got all that done in four and a half hours and kind of vegetated on the couch for a couple of hours afterward.

     So I still have five heaps of leaves to bag before it rains today.  Think I'll go let someone else cook me a healthy breakfast first.

     We are by no means done with the season's raking.


DOuglas2 said...

Sorry for not remembering -- is the virginia-creeper something that is otherwise a desirable feature of the property?

Drang said...

I've decided that leaves should be allowed to turn to mulch naturally. Maybe that guy up the block with the Bernie Sanders yard sign (still!) and the grass not mowed for the last two years has a point has a point.

Granted, the point may be "I'm a lazy bastard", but think of all the time a save not raking!

Roberta X said...

Douglas, Virgina Creeper is a weed. It's a kind of ivy but the grows and grows, in long tendrils snaking through the grass with small roots, up trees and walls and fences. It'll kill a tree. You can't really wipe it out, just try to keep ahead of it. Like kudzu but slower, with a woody, brittle stem.

D.W., the city frowns on your approach. Also, they will fine you, clear the leaves, mow the lawn, and charge you a lot of money not including the fine to pay for the lawn work. Interestingly, they're not so proactive about taking away your bagged leaves. In fact, I understand there's a limit how many bags they will take.

Blackwing1 said...

We had the Creeper growing along our fence and up the side of the house when we bought it. It turns a beautiful deep red and has pretty little berries come fall, so I left it there for the first couple of years. Then I found out that it:

- Rots any wood that it covers, and
- Has little sticky tendrils that are impossible to get off window screens

So I started cutting it back from the soffits and windows twice a year to keep it off the woodwork and so I could scrape-and-paint, but it grew back so fast I couldn't keep up. Then I found out that its own little micro-ecosystem was generating vermin (lots of ants, and an amazing number of bird's nests) and started to finally cut it down.

I pulled it off the house, bagging it as I went. I pulled it off the fence, and found that it had wound its way up into the neighbor's maple tree. Then I found that the roots went way into the ground parallel to the house. Some of those roots were as big as my wrist in diameter, and impossible to pull up. Fortunately I'm not reactive to the stuff on the vines; some people have a fairly allergic reaction to it. The durned stuff would keep re-sprouting from any roots left behind. I finally got it under control by ripping as much of the root system out of the ground as I could, and then when they were too big, cutting them with a lopper and "painting" the cut ends with concentrated RoundUp.

It took years (about 20) but I finally battled it to a standstill.

My neighbor across the alley had let it grow all over his garage, and last year finally had to pull it down so he could re-side all of the rotted boards.

Nasty weed. Take a look at some of the Google "street view" images from abandoned houses in Detroit to see what the stuff does when completely uncontrolled...houses get so covered in it that they look like mounded hills.

fillyjonk said...

Virginia creeper is on my "bad list" of plants. (And we have it in the South, too). It will take over spaces fast, just like blackberry does. I don't like using poison but I've used it on that, and on the poison ivy that sneaks into my backyard

And we have a similarly over-active city - I got written up for having a few too many volunteer privet bushes in the back yard. (They are gone now; I got in a rage and cut everything down). And yes, for a while brush was not being picked up on time because "budget cuts." It was actually a minor scandal because supposedly we pay for one pick up per month and lots of areas of town went 3-4 months without a pickup.

Funny, they don't seem to freak out about leaves. A couple falls I've been too busy or too sick to rake them up and no one said boo to me about it.