What to Do with Fall Leaves
Leaves cover your yard. Do you let them lay there, or do you rake them up? If you rake them up, what then? We share what to do with fall leaves.
Let’s face it. Fall leaves are gorgeous when they are on the trees. Once they fall to the ground, they become a chore! Here are six uses for those annoying leaves.
The first option is to chop the leaves with your lawnmower and leave them on your lawn.
Mulch mowing doesn’t require physical exertion. The mower does the job for you. You don’t have to rake and exert yourself to remove the leaves.
It is also good for the soil. The chopped leaves suppress the weeds and break down over time, adding nutrients back into the soil.
However, this option takes time. It isn’t a one-and-done chore. Chopping new leaves that fall is a must.
The pieces of leaves must be chopped small enough to fall into between blades of grass. If the layer of leaves becomes too thick, it shades out the grass causing it to die.
Leaves make a great additive to a compost bin. They add carbon to a compost pile and break down by springtime. The resulting compost is rich in nutrients and excellent for your garden.
Make a Leaf Mold
Creating a leaf mold is simple. Fill a wood or wire cage with the leaves. Wet them, and let the leaves start breaking down. Over about six months, the leaves become black and ready to use.
Add it to your garden to help water retention, improve air movement in the soil, and increase plant health.
Putting Leaves in the Garden
If your garden sits empty during the fall, adding leaves directly into the soil is a terrific option. Pile the leaves on top of the garden bed, and then till them into the soil. Instead of tilling the leaves, pile them on top of the garden bed. Then add a layer of dirt on the leaves. This layering accomplishes the same thing as tilling them into the ground.
Mulching with Leaves
Move the leaves from your yard to your landscape beds. The leaves suppress weeds and add nutrients to the soil. Using leaves as mulch saves you money on buying bags of mulch for your beds.
There is a downside to using leaves as mulch. They blow around in the wind and give your beds an informal appearance.
Protecting Your Root Vegetables
As root vegetables grow, their “shoulders” peak out from under the ground. Use leaves to cover the shoulders protecting them against the winter temperatures. This layer of leaves provides insulation and also adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down.
Fun Uses for Kids
Let’s not forget a big pile of leaves is an invitation for fun! Gather up a pile, and let your kids romp and play in the leaves.
Leaves are also a resource for art. Check out Country Living’s article, 44 Best Fall Leaf Craft Ideas.
What Not to Do with Your Leaves?
Do not blow or rake your leaves into the street. Leaves travel down the road with rainwater and clog sewage drains. This clogging leads to flooding and icy road conditions in the winter.
Do not bag up your leaves in plastic bags and put them in the trash. If you want to get rid of your leaves completely, use specific bags for collecting leaves. Using these bags allows your municipality to compost the leaves.
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What to Do with Fall Leaves
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I’ve always loved gardening and recently started gardening full-time. I also enjoy tending to our chickens, dogs, and other family pets (a bird, a snake, and rabbits).