Fall brings a beautiful change in foliage to most landscapes, ranging from red, brown, shades of oranges and yellow. It’s a very picturesque time of year, but the pleasure of viewing these colorful leaves only lasts a few weeks before it’s time to break out the rakes, tarps and leaf blowers.
Some cities have services that pick up the piles you gathered, but before you get rid of them, check out these 4 ways to repurpose the fallen leaves in your yard.
Mow and Grow
When you neglect fallen leaves in your yard, you run the risk of inviting mold and it can harm and even destroy your grass.
As leaves pile up, there is less space for sunlight to keep your grass and soil in good condition. Instead of simply raking and putting the leaves in piles, consider using your lawn mower on a warm, sunny day to break up the leaves into small trimmings.
Raise the blade on your mower to the highest level and go over the leaves repeatedly until they are broken down into pieces that would be nearly impossible to rake.
Before winter comes, the broken down leaves will have enough time to break down and settle into the soil, providing healthy nutrients to your soil before the freeze comes.
Composting is the most popular method of repurposing the leaves in your yard, but it can be wasteful if you do it incorrectly.
We’ve all seen how leaves eventually rot and break down due to moisture. While it may seem messy, it’s one of the most useful and cost effective ways to salvage and re-use the nutrient-rich debris wasting away in your yard.
The trick is to carefully place your leaf pile on the side of your lawn so it stays out of the sun and does not kill your grass. You want an abundance of moisture to allow the leaves to convert to the best compost.
If you have a compost bin, you’re way ahead of the game! The absence of light inside your bin will be the most conducive to creating nutrient-rich compost.
Enrich Your Garden Soil
If you have a tiller in your garage and you maintain a garden, this leaf repurposing trick is perfect for you! It could save you some time and money when planting season comes around after winter.
Fallen leaves and compost help your gardens and flower beds because leaves are very rich in organic nutrients. Especially if your soil starts to clump, broken down leaves will improve the airflow of your soil to reduce the clay texture into a more granular soil.
Even if your soil is somewhat sandy and well treated, the shredded foliage will help your garden retain water.
Pro tip: add fertilizer as you till your garden beds to increase decomposition.
Get Crafty with Fall Decorations
If you’re a creative person, consider using your fallen for an organic art project to decorate your home with the most natural fall colors.
There are countless ways to turn your leaves into a decorative display, but here are a few ideas:
Make a wreath out of fallen leaves
- Paint leaf rubbings
- Create Autumn leaf bunting
- Make clay leaf prints and pendants
- String them together and hang up between walls
- Create a leaf mandala
Or better yet, collect your favorite leaves and put them in a box to remember the bright, colorful and nostalgic days of fall. Kids love to do this, too!
If you'd prefer not to repurpose your leaves, you may drop off your yard waste at Kurtz Bros., Inc. and we will take it from there. Learn about our yard waste requirements here.