I've got a problem this year. It involves the maple leaves that currently blanket half of my front yard.
The problem is that I don't know what to do with them. Rake them up sure, but then what?
You see, these are the leaves that I normally use to help insulate my hardy bananas, Musa basjoo. What I normally do with the maple leaves is this:
The trouble is, this year autumn has been so very mild, the schedule is messed up. We've only had a couple of nights in which the temperatures made it down to freezing or just a hair below, so the maple tree has dropped all of its leaves already...
...but the banana leaves are virtually undamaged:
Last year on November 7 they were already curled and dead and had been for a few days:
So this year the banana plant is not ready to be mulched, but the leaves are ready to become mulch. Hmmm.
The other problem is that the clump is the biggest it's ever been, so I'm not sure that I'll be able to mulch over the entire thing.
So I let the maple leaves stay out there. I suppose I should get them out of the cactus bed at least...
...and maybe the right way forward is to just rake them up and pile them around the base of the bananas, only cutting the tops down after we get a hard freeze.
I certainly don't want to cut the bananas down yet for no reason. (I cut them to about 2-3' above the ground.)
What would you do?