Leave the Leaves

Butterfly resting on top of pile of leaves.

Five Ways to Reuse Your Fall Leaves

One of the best things about autumn is watching the green leaves turn to brilliant reds, oranges and yellows. But following the changing colours, we’re left with piles of fallen leaves in our yards. Raking and bagging these leaves is a lot of work and removing them doesn’t provide many of the benefits that leaves offer to soil and wildlife. 
Free mulch: Leave any leaves that fall in your garden as free mulch. If there aren’t enough to provide 10-15 cm of coverage (dry leaves), top up with leaves from your lawn. Many beneficial insects like butterflies, bees and beetles spend the winter hiding below the leaves waiting for the warm sun to wake them in the spring. 

Compost: If you have a compost bin, mix some leaves in with your food scraps. Turn your compost once a month and use the nutrient rich compost in your veggie gardens the following summer.

Leaf mold: If you don’t keep a compost bin with food scraps or if you have lots of leaves still on your lawn, collect them and create leaf mold, another great type of compost. See below for more information.

Nourish your lawn: You can leave a thin layer of leaves on your lawn. If you have a lot of leaves, mow over them to chop them into smaller pieces that won’t smother your grass. The leaves will break down and provide nutrients to your grass and create healthy soil. 

Be creative: Pick out your favourite leaves and get crafty. Create a fall wreath for your front door, add leaves to an old jar to create a beautiful fall candleholder, or wax leaves for thanksgiving table decorations. Involve kids in your life in creating a wall hanging or try adding googly eyes for cute animal leaves!

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