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Sharon Marie
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Taking Leaves

Is it considered "bad" etiquette to take leaves from the neighbors pile left at the end of the driveway? There are some areas where I'd like to have these leaves for a new compost area - since mine this year is ruined - I have to start over.
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rainbowgardener
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If it is your next door neighbor, I'd ask permission, just in the interest of keeping good relations. People usually don't mind at all. But I have been known to drive around the neighborhood with a rake and bags and bag up piles of leaves to take home...

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Sharon Marie
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Well, I was thinking more along the lines of - down the street - as my next door neighbor and I just have a willow tree and a bradford pear (I think that's what it is anyhow). I'll knock on a few doors just in case. In the compost forum - there is a really neat compost bin idea that I'm going to have my dad help me build. I'd like to build three of them - and the leaves this fall will be great for getting it started. :)
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The Helpful Gardener
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Good answer Marlin!

And best of luck on the compost, Sharon. It is hard work but I love the results; you'll know you came by them honestly and safely and no other creatures were harmed in the making of your mulch/fertilizer/biological innoculant...

HG
Scott Reil

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Sharon Marie
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:) Yeah - I don't know that I'd mind if leaves started showing up in bags anyway.. just not dumped out on the driveway. lol.
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pepper4
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Sharon, too bad you don't live near me because you could have all the leaves you wanted. There's trees everywhere. Where I live anything that hits the tree lawn is for the taking. City owns it but of course we have to maintain it. Dispite that unless you know your neighbors well around here unfortunately you have to worry about even going on someones tree lawn for leaves. :cry: Good luck with the compost :wink:
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When I ask my neighbours if I can rake up their leaves they are always more than happy to have me do so. Actually, the first response is usually, "How much would you charge?" they are tickled pink when I say "Nothing, I just want your leaves for my compost."
Feed the soil, not the plants.

petalfuzz
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I gathered neighbors' leaves last year. I went out in the evening and the first house I stopped at was very enthusiastic and wanted me to cart away all his rotting apples too. I was lucky to find a huge pile of leaves at an apartment building with no one around, so I made several trips there. ;)

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Sharon Marie
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I am now starting to see several people with large brown lawn recycling bags - they are paper.. I'm going to go out today and get some :) I am to excited about getting my new compost started!
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gixxerific
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Who cares if it is bad etiquette. Though it's not just ask. I would ask my neighbors for theirs but it wouldn't be worth it, the trees in my subdivision are still small. So I go to out of the way places and take them. Though My boss said when would be more than happy to let me have his.

Hey they are just leaves, and bring them some fresh garden veggies and they will love you for taking their trash.

cynthia_h
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gixxerific wrote:Who cares if it is bad etiquette. ...

Hey they are just leaves, ... they will love you for taking their trash.
Maybe in other parts of the country, this is true.

I didn't want to risk it in lawyer-happy California last year, so DH and I gathered our leaves from public areas only: the verge (aka right-of-way, planting strip, etc.), the curb, and so on. No one's lawn. No one's leaf bags.

We still have one, maybe two bags to go! Thanksgiving weekend was the best time in our little eco-zone.

Cynthia H.
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gixxerific
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cynthia_h wrote:
gixxerific wrote:Who cares if it is bad etiquette. ...

Hey they are just leaves, ... they will love you for taking their trash.
Maybe in other parts of the country, this is true.

I didn't want to risk it in lawyer-happy California last year, so DH and I gathered our leaves from public areas only: the verge (aka right-of-way, planting strip, etc.), the curb, and so on. No one's lawn. No one's leaf bags.

We still have one, maybe two bags to go! Thanksgiving weekend was the best time in our little eco-zone.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9
I didn't mean to not care about the other people. I meant don't feel foolish about getting the leaves. They don't want them and you do we all win. Leave your pride in the car and get some goodies for your garden was what I meant.

And I did say to ask first, I wouldn't go up and just start raking some else yard without permission. :)

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Just found out the folks at Old Purple Farm are going to let me take their leaves; already chewed up by a big old John Deer Estate model . There's YARDS of chipped leaves!

JACKPOT!

:D

HG
Scott Reil

pepper4
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This is a 2 fold question. If you collect leaves from curbs ect.. and the trees were or have diseases would this harm your soil and second are grass clippings along with mulched leaves ok to use ?
Bambi

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Hey Bambi,

First, many of the soil fungii are tree diseases of some sort or another; all is well and good until some disaster OPENS the tree to these organisms. Then they reduce the tree back to soil. WE name them diseases when we find them inconvenient, but it is as much Nature as any red in fang and claw story you'd care to tell. So hurt the soil, no. Introduce something that MIGHT be an issue for a tree of yours? Possibly, but if it is a healthy tree, and your compost is biodiverse enough to assure species competition, that should not be an issue.

Of course it's o.k. to mix grass and leaves for a balanced compost, but for a simple leaf mold, heavy on the fungal culture, the grass is working against you. Depends on what you are trying to accomplish, but greens and browns still works for most things...

HG
Scott Reil

NatGreeneVeg
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Well composted material with a large enough volume of material will kill most diseases. The end product, when incorporated into soil will then help your plants be resistant against diseases.

It's best to have both nitrogen material and carbon material in general. Enough volume is at least three feet wide by three feet tall. If you develop a relationship with your neighbors, you'd be surprised at how much material you can get. I offer fresh vegetables and drop them off when I have them. They drop off grass clippings and leaves. This past weekend I've had over 22 bags of grass and, leaves dropped off. I have a LeafEater leaf mulcher which I use to mulch the leaves. I applied a layer last fall and this spring I'd never seen so many worms in my soil - ever.

As for stopping to pick up clippings or leaves, I'd knock and ask. I've never been afraid to do so. In fact, if they live nearby and know you want more, they'll likely give you more in the future. If I see someone nearby raking leaves or yard material I can use, I stop to ask. I've never had anyone say no yet. When they hear it's for a garden, they love it.
Have a cup of tea and witness the evolution of an Organic Kitchen Garden.

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gixxerific
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Nat I just moved here 2 years ago and had/have terrible clay. With the care and amendments I have done you wouldn't believe the worm population in my soil.

I can't wait till next year.

8)

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