Making Use of Fallen Leaves

You know autumn has arrived when leaves start falling and scattering their colours of orange and red across the garden and driveway. The picturesque scenes that occur in front of your eyes with a cascade of crispy leaves can certainly be beautiful, but only for a day or two. It doesn’t take long before you’re left wondering just what to do with all the fallen leaves.

During the autumn season, the leaves can act as a dense insulator for tree roots and as they decompose they give rich nutrients to the soil and trees. However, once they get wet from the winter rains, these leaf piles can actually become hazardous and pose a threat to the grass.

Fortunately, there are many ways that you can recycle your leaves in a productive and creative manner. Some inspiring tips to recycle your leaves include:

  • Mulch: for cheap and effective fertilizer, shredded leaves make for a great addition to your garden beds and lawn soil. Scattered leaves across the yard and driveway can be collected and broken down into smaller pieces using a mulching mower or string trimmer. These can then be added to a compost pile for effective mulch.
  • Insulation: just as you need some extra warmth and layers to protect you from the winter chills, so do delicate shrubs and perennial plants. Leftover autumn leaves add warmth to the soil and can make it easier for your plants to survive the upcoming winter.
  • Stuffing: for a fun crafty project that adds character to your yard, why not consider creating a scarecrow. The autumn leaves can be used to stuff that scarecrow’s clothes and bulk him up for winter. This is not only handy recycling, but also a creative project which even the kids can be involved in.
  • Bedding: if you have chickens or other animals in your garden, it’s worth remembering they need some warmth for the winter as well. Fall leaves are an excellent source of comfort in the chicken coop. For other animals such as goat or sheep, dry autumn leaves create more comfortable conditions in their pen or yard. For goats in particular, leaves also provide a tasty treat as well as comfort under foot.
  • Crafty decorations: if you are constantly inspired by Pinterest, why not get on and see some ideas how you can use fall leaves to create decorations. From framing them and placing them in clear vases or laminating them for permanency, fall leaves can certainly be a great decoration to remind you of the autumn colours.

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