What to do with all these live oak leaves?!
We have a half-acre yard with about a dozen large, mature trees, mostly live oak. We are drowning in leaves. We are renovating the house and not living in it yet, so we have been doing the yard about every other week. We have a lawn-mower style mulching yard vac, and using that on just the lawn (not the beds), will give us about 24 bags (42 gallon size) of shredded leaves each time we do it.
We are tempted to just mow/mulch and not bag, but the very shady yard is planted with St.Augustine, which is very thin and spotty (we have numerous dirt patches where there is no grass) and I'm concerned that the leaves even when mulched fine are blocking light just based on the sheer volume. Also, at the root of the grass there are many damp leaves that the mower and vac won't pick up. Also, given the sheer quantity of leaves, I'm a touch concerned that we will frustrate the neighbors who work very hard at keeping a leaf-free yard with our shredded leaves blowing over to their golf course like lawn.
Would love to compost but have never done it and don't know where to put such a large volume of leaves, and how to "balance" the mulch pile. What could we possibly add in enough volume to compliment the leaves? Plus, these waxy live oak leaves don't want to decompose easily!
I guess this is two questions really...
--What DO we do with all these leaves?
--What do we do considering the already poor grass condition? (I have been reading the "How grow St Augustine grass under live oaks ?" thread, but I am not yet sure what the take-away is...)