Fall leaves are stunning. For a few solid weeks in autumn they assist in turning our landscape into a picturesque delight. Many of us value this impressive change in scenery. We look forward to it. We take photographs of it. Some even plan entire road trips just to observe it.
But then those gorgeous little leaves betray us all and begin there downward assault on our yards.Suddenly, just like that, our oohs and ahhs turn into sighs of contempt. While there’s no magical way to stop leaves from falling there are ways to utilize them for your benefit.
Mow Those Leaves
Give your mower one last job before storing it away for the season. Mowing and consequently shredding fallen leaves gives your lawn a nice (and free) organic fertilizer boost. It may even help prevent all those pesky weeds come spring. Don’t believe me? Check out this article by Rebecca Finneran of Michigan State University Extension.
Create Some Fantastic Mulch
Do you have a garden or flower bed? Gather up those freshly shredded leaves and relocate them to your growing areas. By supplying these spaces with a protective layer you can cut down on nutrient lose in your soil. In fact you will be adding valuable organic matter that will aid in providing your plants with a favorable growing environment.
Make Some Mold AKA Leaf Compost
While this idea takes some time to accomplish the outcome is definitely worth the wait. Leaf mold is simply the result of allowing leaves to sit and decompose in a damp setting. Many people use large garbage bags or a bin to contain the leaves. In about a year's time the leaves will have turned into a rich compost and the longer they sit the richer it will become. This leaf mold can be integrated into soil to increase water retention and enhance soil structure.
So next time you’re staring down a yard full of autumn’s fleeting beauty give one of these tips a try. Your lawn and plants will surely thank you.