The transition from fall to winter is here, and most of us will be pulling out the rake to clean up the yard before the snow starts falling. Instead of cleaning up all of nature’s confetti and sending it off to be recycled, why not put them to good use? From mulching to fall crafts, here are four things you can do with your fall leaves.
What to do with your fall leaves
- Improve your soil by mowing them
- One of the easiest ways to clean up fall leaves is to simply mow over them. Start by removing the bag on your mower and setting the blade to the highest level. It’s important that your mower is equipped with a mulching blade in order for this method to be effective. Mowing leaves into dime size pieces helps provide soil with valuable nutrients and organic matter.
- Protect your flower beds
- Protect your garden beds by covering them with two to three inches of shredded leaves around the base of the plant. Shredded leaves help retain soil moisture and protect against harsh winters. It will also help suppress the growth of weeds come the early spring. Much like mowing, they will also add nutrients to the soil.
- Fall craft projects
- We’ve all seen the decorative pumpkin trash bags filled with leaves, but why not step it up a notch and get crafty. From homemade wreaths to leaf coasters, there are a ton of craft ideas to help utilize fall leaves.
- Leaf mold
- Don’t let the name “leaf mold” bother you. Leaf mold is the result of wet leaves decomposing into a rich, black, soil-like substance, which helps improve soil texture and fertility. There are different ways to create leaf mold, but simply gathering up your leaves into a container or bag and letting it sit will do the trick. Leaf mold is not only free, but also a very effective natural fertilizer. Leaf mold takes six months to a year to break down completely.
The vibrant leaves are starting to cover our lawn, so get out there and clean up your fall leaves before the first snowfall.
Reminder: Late fall and early winter is the best time to prune trees!