Because winter came so early, I focused on getting things in the veggie beds that I hadn't gotten planted rather than doing a thorough job of raking. I was surprised in April when I raked 22 lawn bags of leaves! (I’m choosing to attribute the great number of leaves partly to the fact that many leaves hadn't dropped by the time our first snow fell.) I couldn't have done that cursory a job in the fall, could I?!
Raking seemed like a good starting place this year. We’d had so much rain--and were expecting more--that the sodden leaves would have become more a hindrance to the plants than a help. Raking gave me a chance to take stock of the beds and see how much damage the Polar Vortex had wrought. And, it was a psychological boost to see the landscape shift from brown to green. Ahhhhh.