Yes, you can bag them up and put them out on the curb. But if you’re looking to get more creative with your crop of fallen leaves this autumn, you have a few sustainable, useful options. Check out these tips:
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1. Make compost
Did you know that the leaves from one large shade tree can pack as many nutrients as $50 worth of plant food? To make sure your leaves break down efficiently, consider adding a compost component with high levels of nitrogen (manure and Agrinite are good examples). Also remember to shred your leaves to prevent them from blowing in the wind. Remember to turn your pile over every few days, and you’ll have a rich compost in a matter of weeks.
2. Use them as mulch
Autumn leaves can also serve as a substitute for store-bought mulch. Why use mulch? It has several “green” benefits: organic mulch decomposes into the soil, increasing both its fertility and moisture. Remember to shred leaves before mulching—unshredded leaves make it difficult for water to permeate the soil. Fortunately, you don’t need a shredder to do the job. Just shred what’s already on your grass when you mow your lawn
3. Get crafty
Hear us out—there are dozens of crafting opportunities sitting right in your front yard. Decorate a fall wreath with pinecones, mums, and dried leaves, or use leaves as templates for note cards or decorative stencils. You can also press a dried leaf between two panes of glass for a simple, elegant piece of art.
4. Make a leaf pile
Can’t see your grass under all those leaves? Leaf raking is a great—and fun—autumn job for the kids. Why? Because they (and you, of course) get to jump into a massive, crunchy leaf pile after they’re finished. Fall fun at its finest.
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