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Dry leaves and pine needles. “Who’da thunk it?”


We certainly have enough of both of them.

When I wrote my leaf raking post a few weeks back, I didn’t expect to find out my pine needles and dry leaves were such sought after items.

Two friends asked to be included in the distribution. One, we could easily handle. The other, we may be able to work into the rotation.

Currently, we put some yard waste on our own pile of composting material, but we haven’t gotten serious about it. We have two Rake and Take partners. One permanent, the other a fill in when our first partner isn’t around.

A good friend wants dry leaves for their chicken coop enclosure. The chickens love to scratch and peck at what they can find in that treasure trove of leaves. They also have blueberry bushes. One of the types of plants that loves pine needles as mulch.

We use some of our pine needles for our azaleas and rhododendron. The Master Gardeners that take our pine needles use them for the same acid loving plants. Azaleas, berry bushes, do well with that covering of needles.

Another friend just started composting, and doesn’t have adequate “brown” material, so is also interested in leaves. We hope to have enough around later to help them out.

What does all this mean? It means with just a little effort, you too can provide material to help a friend or neighbor.

Rake and Take is here.

Don’t put your yard waste in a trash bag and let it go to “waste”. Lots of people out there would be happy to take it from you.



About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

3 responses »

  1. Great post and timed perfectly for me. Today I raked, mulched leaves and spread said mulched leaves around many plants and bushes to help put them to rest for the winter. We also collect pine needles each year to put around the junipers (for the look and the pine needle chemical components), and a friend is bringing by a large bag of extra pine needles to contribute to our efforts. We also have an arrangement with a neighbor across the street whose house backs up to the woods. They have a hard-core mulcher and today, I went across the road and into their back yard — con permiso, of course — and got about a dozen trash cans full of finely mulched leaves. (Yay!) This is my second trip this year and I go over each time they do a big mulching job. We also add the mulched leaves to our three compost bins and around the many fall vegetables (kale, collards, lettuces, peas and more) to give them a little more life and protection in the coming cold weeks and months.

    I love “harvesting” dried leaves and, yes, in addition to everything I’ve already done with raking, mulching and spreading, I’ve also snagged many bags of leaves that others have put out for recycling.

  2. What a great program. Our city collect leaves raked to the curb in the fall (no bags), and provides leaf mulch in the spring (help yourself or they’ll drop a load in the driveway). Since we have a mulching mower we shred and bag our own to add to the compost bins throughout the year. I’m still working out how many bags I need–the first year I was so enthusiastic I was taking leaves my neighbors had raked to the curb (my neighbors thought I was nuts). We had enough leftover bags that last year we only shredded and bagged our own trees. This year, since it’s just me and the kids and there were still some bags left over, I’m not shredding anything. Instead I’ve filled the compost bins with unshredded leaves, which compact with each rain and layers of kitchen scraps, so hopefully that will do.

  3. Excellent recycling of natural resource. I sometimes use biodegradable natural jute bags designed for leaf mulch – excellent especially when the compost is a tiny bit full!


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