My hostas love it! So do I. Free does not mean that it comes without a price, however. The price is labor, dust covered skin and mucous membranes, and a fair amount of sweat. I live a glamorous life, folks.
Many trees shade my yard… and those trees drop MANY leaves. Grass refuses to grow in the shadows of the trees. So, rather than fight nature, I decided to work with it and created curvy hosta beds over the patches of baked, bald clay. When I mow (in the fall, mowing is more about picking up leaves than clipping grass), I bag the chopped leaves and spread them in the beds. Over the past seven years, the leaves have transformed into rich, beautiful, black gold.
Last June, my parents and my nephew came down from Wisconsin for a visit. There is a lake about 10 minutes from the house, so we decided to go fishing. Before we went, my nephew and I collected night crawlers from the hosta beds. It only took us about 15 minutes to gather more than enough for our fishing outing. My nephew was amazed when I swept my hand across the leaves to clear an area of leaf mulch and worms-a-plenty squirmed on the surface of the soil. Unfortunately, the lake wasn’t as filled with fish as my hosta bed was with worms. We caught (and released) one tiny fish that day.