Top 4 Uses for the Leaves in Your Yard

Now that the season of autumn has fallen upon us, you might notice some other things falling upon you. Of course, I’m talking about leaves! While we all love to see the beautiful reds, yellows, oranges, and browns in our trees, we can all agree that raking up leaves can really be a drag. But we can’t ignore the leaves, as leaving whole leaves on your turf can smother the grass underneath and allow for snow mold to form. Here are five ways in which you can deal with these pesky plant pieces.

1. Till them into your garden

Once leaves are collected, you can finely grind the leaves and till them into your garden or flowerbeds. They are an excellent source of nutrients and organic matter for your plants as they break down during the winter. They will also be a delicious food source for your earthworms, which are great insects to have squirming around in your soil. [Note: If you do not have an attachment on your lawnmower that will grind leaves, you can grind them manually by collecting the leaves in a trash can and using a string trimmer to chop them up. Just be sure to wear proper eye protection!]

2. Mow them into your grass

Those finely ground leaves can also be used to improve your turf. This is best accomplished during times of light leaf-fall, as too much leaf cover is bad for your grass, no matter how finely ground it is. Either use a mulcher or trash can & string trimmer to grind the leaves and spread them across your yard. The leaves will allow for improved water infiltration and more microbial activity. Keep in mind that this tip is only for well-established lawns, as leaves can act as a detriment to newly sown lawns.

3. Use them to start a compost pile

Combining your finely ground leaves with other compostable organic material, such as grass clippings or coffee grounds can be a great start to a vibrant compost pile. Compost is great food for plants and a fantastic way to help the environment!

4. Give your leaves to others

If you have extra leaves, call your local municipalities and local nurseries to see if they could use your leaves for mulch, compost, or other type of plant food.

Resources:

Don’t Rake those leaves, mulch them into your lawn – Scott’s Miracle Grow

Improving a Lawn – The Lawn Institute

What to do with Fall Leaves- Dept of Environmental Conservation

What to do with your dead leaves – Mahoney’s

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