Fallen leaves can be a nuisance: they clog up gutters, kill your grass, and give your yard an “unkempt” feel. Instead of tossing your leaves this fall, there are other ways you can use them in your garden.

Here are seven creative ideas for recycling those red, orange, and yellow beauties scattered across your lawn:

  1. Mulch. Dried leaves are the perfect replacement for mulch. In preparation for winter, surround the stems of your plants and flowers with a layer of leaves four to six inches thick. The leaves act as a protective blanket during winter, and during the fall preserve water, improve soil health, and suppress weeds.
  2. Composting. This is Mother Nature’s way of recycling. Composting involves the decomposition of organic matter, like leaves or old food, into rich soil perfect for backyards and gardens. Store your leaves in a large bin and turn the compost every two to four weeks. Be sure that the mixture remains moist, but not wet.
  3. Indoor Decoration. There are myriad ways to use fall leaves as décor inside your home. Pairing brightly coloured leaves with festive flowers make for a great dining table centre piece. If you want them to last through winter, dry your bouquet upside down. Maple leaves are also a great material. Simply cut and paste them onto a frame to create a beautiful, bright picture, or hang them from their stems in a mobile.
  4. Mow It Over. One option is to leave your leaves as they are. As long as the layer is not too thick, you can mow over the leaves and let them decompose on the lawn. This will help fertilize your lawn and keep your soil healthy.
  5. Leaf Mold. It sounds unappealing, but this substance is incredibly beneficial to your plants. First, shred your leaves with a lawn mower or leaf shredder. Next, put them in plastic bag to be stored over winter. Over time, the leaves will decompose into a crumbly, dark brown or black material. Come spring, you can sprinkle this organic fertilizer over your plants.
  6. Press Leaves. Trees play an important role in our lives. As children, we play under them, in them, and etch our names into their bark. Pressing leaves is a great way to keep memories alive, and a fun family activity. While you prepare your mulch or leaf mold, pick out the most vibrant, perfectly shaped leaves and save them to be pressed.
  7. Storing Vegetables. Root crops like carrots, beets, parsnips and turnips store well between layers of leaves. If the leaves appear dry, sprinkle them with water.

Fallen leaves are more useful than you think. Consider them a healthy resource for your garden, lawn, and family. For any questions regarding our landscaping service, contact us at Canada’s Gardenland.