What To Do With Those Fall Leaves
If you are like most homeowners then you hate raking fall leaves. Depending on where you live, you could spend fifteen minutes or several hours a day to get your yard cleaned up. It’s easy to say “I’ll do it in the spring”. But waiting to rake your leaves is damaging to your lawn. Leaves can suffocate your grass and can cause lawn diseases like snow mold. Sure, raking is tough but leaves are more than just a nuisance. There are plenty of creative ways to reuse and repurpose old leaves instead of leaving them by the curb.
In the forest, when trees shed their leaves for the season, the leaves collect on the forest floor around the base of the tree. As the leaves decompose they give nutrients back to the tree. You too can create your own mulch by raking up all your leaves and storing them someplace out of the way to decompose. By the time spring comes, the leaves will be partially decomposed and can be used as mulch.
Chop Up The Leaves
Here’s a trick to get you out of all that raking. If you don’t have too many leaves you could use your lawnmower to chop the leaves up into smaller and smaller pieces. The shredded leaves will settle on the soil and fertilize your grass. Be sure to set your mower blade to its lowest setting to chop up leaves more efficiently.
Start a Compost Pile
Fall leaves are great additions to your compost pile. They are quick to break down and if you put them in your compost bin in the fall it will be decomposed enough to use as mulch for your gardens and flower beds. Don’t have a compost bin? All you need is to find an out of the way spot and pile the leaves up. The pile will naturally shrink and decompose over the winter.
Create a New Garden
Lasagna gardens are all the rave amongst avid composters. It’s a simple and fun way to make a new garden without all the hard work of removing sod and rocks. The process involves layering organic matter on top of the soil, waiting for it to decompose, and then planting your new garden in it. Fall leaves make great composting material and it uses a lot of leaves. Alternate the leaves with layers of manure, grass clippings, straw, kitchen scraps, shredded newspaper, cardboard, and other organic matter. By the time spring arrives and the snow melts, you’ll have a fresh new garden ready for planting.
Leaves laying on your grass for too long will kill your grass so it makes sense that if you apply that same logic to your gardens and flower beds that it would prevent weeds. Leaves make great weed barriers and insulators during the winter. They also retain moisture, keeping your plants hydrated longer.
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