Back breaking yard work alternates with the changing of the seasons

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 31, 2017

It’s getting cold again. Well cold for the South anyway.

And while that means you won’t have to cut your grass as often, it will mean other lawn care duties will take that job’s place.

Raking leaves and pine straw is a chore that, to me, is much more cumbersome than cutting grass. That’s because while you can leave the grass to fertilize the roots, leaves and pine straw must be removed if you want to keep the grass.

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One thing you can do with all of that dead vegetation is try to compost it. While that works well for leaves, pine straw is another story.

Alternately, that long-lasting debris can be used as mulch in your garden and various landscaping efforts. Since it does take a long time to break down, you can get a lot of use out of it once it’s in place.

I’ve actually had an individual stop at my yard and ask if he could take a pile of the straw I raked up. Since it meant less straw for me to deal with, I happily obliged.

Another way to dispose of pine straw is to burn it. There are some problems with that method though.

First, if there’s a burn ban in effect, which is common during the colder months in this area, burning the material is out of the question. The last thing you want is to be responsible for starting a major fire when a burn ban was issued due to drought conditions.

Secondly, even if the conditions are right for burning vegetative debris, you will still want to take some precautions. The most important precaution includes having a source of water close by like a charged water hose or a large bucket. Even still, it takes a long time to burn a yard’s worth of pine straw. That means you will be tied to your burn pile providing a watchful eye until the coals are out.

If you employ a better method for ridding yourself of pine straw, I’d be interested to hear it. Send me an email to the address above.