One of the best parts of Fall is all the bright-colored foliage! One of the worst parts… when those gorgeous leaves fall off the trees and land in your yard. Not only can raking and bagging them can be one of the most annoying parts of Autumn but did you know throwing out your bagged leaves can be incredibly harmful to the environment? Thankfully, there are a few ways to recycle the leaves in your garden! Keep reading to see which recycling method will work best for you.
Fallen leaves are a great addition to any compost pile, as they contain necessary nutrients that will not only nourish your garden, but will help to create healthy top-soil for the spring. The center of your composting pile will stay warm as microorganisms break down the leaves, and will create energy for trees and plants that feed off of your compost. Leaves also make a great compost topper as they have little to no smell as they decompose!
Creating Leaf Mold
The name might not be enticing, but leaf mold is similar to compost in a lot of ways! Made mainly by decomposing leaves, the main difference between this and compost is that leaf mold is only made of leaves and water, whereas compost is all green waste. Leaf mold can be left in your yard to break down until spring, continually feeding your yard and plants through the winter months, so long as it doesn’t freeze over! If you’re concerned about wind ruining your leaf mold, you may want to put a small fence around your pile to keep everything in one place until you need it.
This final use of fallen leaves takes a bit more time, as it requires the leaves to be chopped up. You may be tempted to tear the leaves by hand, but there is a simpler, less time consuming way to tear leaves一run your lawnmower over them! Running your lawnmower over your leaves is the quickest, safest and easiest way to efficiently create the shreds you need for your leaf mulch. Take the shredded leaves and spread them all over your garden, making sure that you work a few into the top layer of soil as you see fit. As the leaves break down, they will provide nutrients to your soil all through the winter!
No matter how you choose to handle your fallen leaves this Autumn, consider choosing an eco-friendly option! It is so easy to use the natural materials that fall in your yard every Autumn and turn them into something that will continually benefit you through the rest of the year. Though some communities offer eco-friendly leaf disposal options, not all do! Be sure to do your research and make the best choice for yourself and your home, and good luck to you as you tackle the leaves in your yard. Don’t forget to leave time for jumping into a pile!