3 Ways To Make Use Of Fallen Autumn Leaves
Autumn will soon be here.
So it’s time to think about what you’re going to do with all those fallen leaves cluttering your landscape.
Since it’s always best to plan your gardening and landscaping needs at least one season ahead, here are some ideas about how to make use of fallen autumn leaves.
1. Use Leaves For Mulch
Leave fallen leaves on your lawn and mow over them. This will provide nutrients and act as feed for your grass known as leaf mulch.
Leaf mulch is a layer of dry, fallen leaves that keep soil moist and nutrient packed due to the protective layer it provides.
“As they fall on the ground... [leaves] create a layer of mulch that helps retain moisture and slowly, over a long period of time, decompose and feed the soil.” - Lady Lee’s Home
However, this is not to say you should smother your lawn with dead leaves. Make sure leaf distribution is sparse enough to allow your lawn to breathe.
2. Use Leaves To Make Compost
Dry, dead leaves are a type of gardener’s gold. Leaves contain a high amount of carbon which is a necessary element of good composting.
“If you find yourself spending money on compost every spring, try DIY compost instead. Take those leaves and pile them in a place where they will be undisturbed over the winter. They will decompose, and then you can dig out the rich compost and use it in your garden in the spring.” - Harry Helmet
To speed up the process, remember, smaller pieces of leaves will break down more quickly. So don’t hesitate to make several passes over leaves with your mower before collection.
3. Use Leaves To Make Leaf Mold
Leaf mold is a form of compost made up of only leaves.
“Although not particularly rich in nutrients itself, when incorporated into the soil, this organic amendment physically alters the soil so that it becomes spongier, holding both moisture and air — a heavenly environment to plant roots.” - Fine Gardening
Keep in mind however, leaf mold takes a few seasons to form. But it’s worth it for the structure it adds to your soil.
“If you ever walked in the forest, you felt the softness of the ground under your feet. You probably noticed how black the soil was. This is all because of leaves.” - Lady Lee’s Home
Reusing fallen leaves is an inexpensive and easy alternative to collection. It will give you a head start on your gardening needs come spring!
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