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Friday, September 19, 2008

10 Great Uses for Fall Leaves

With fall almost here it's time to start thinking about gardening chores and the task that most people have to do in some way is deal with the leaves. What do you do with the leaves is an important question. For way too long many people have burned them which to me is the worst possible way to dispose of unwanted leaves. Often the leaf burners will use additives like gasoline to help the leaves catch on fire (like they really need any help!) In this post I compiled a list of 10 GREAT things to do with your fall leaves!

Shred the leaves

1) Use them as mulch in your garden beds.
2) Mow them over into small bits and let them replenish the soil of your lawn. Make sure there are no large pieces of leaves that will kill off your grass.
2) Toss them in the compost bin to make compost!
3) Prepare new beds by incorporating the shredded leaves into the soil either by tilling or double digging.
4) Create new garden beds with newspapers then cover with leaves to kill the grass and weeds underneath.
5) Bag the shredded leaves and poke holes in the bags then add a little moisture. By spring you should have some great leaf mold compost.
6) If you don't use them in your garden give them to someone who does! Gardeners love leaves!

On the Creative Side

7) Collect the leaves and save them by flattening them underneath a book or use a leaf press.
8) Use the leaves to make textured stepping stones or garden art. Just make the stones as you would normally but press a variety of leaves into the surface. Any leaf with a strong veining pattern will work. You may have to scrape the leaves off after the cement dries. I suspect that Tina has done this one and can probably tell you more!
9) After drying and flattening the leaves use them for stencils on your walls and art projects.
10) Photograph the pictures and make prints for decorating your home during the fall.

And one more thing!

Photograph the leaves at their peak, blog about them, and use them to participate in The Garden Blogger Fall Color Project!


10 comments :

  1. You have been thorough! I am going to try the bagged leaves with a holes this year Dave...one can never have too much leaf mold! Gail

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  2. I love all my neighbors extra leaves and actually I think they like me for getting them too:)

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  3. I only have water oak. The leaves are very small. They are hard to rake up. Will they work?
    Lots of good ideas for the use of leaves besides putting in bags at the curb.

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  4. Gail,

    It's a cheap and easy way to compost! You can do it with grass clippings or other garden waste also.

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  5. Tina,

    I with my neighbors would give me their leaves. Nice presents for fall!

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  6. Lola,

    The leaves should work for all the composting type of activities. I don't know about the more creative side, but I bet they would work for some of them also!

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  7. We shred ours and put them in the compost pile. We also gather those of our older neighbors behind us. They have a lot of Willow Oak, and those leaves stay pliable, so they don't shred or break down well. But we take them anyway. I'll try the bag method on those, thanks! And here in Howard County, Maryland, we don't have any fall color to speak of yet.

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  8. Hi Dave, great ideas on the things to do and also the fall blogger project. It will be mid October when the best color gets started. Who knows what the drought will do to the colors this year, but there should be some worth adding to your meme. We don't have a lot of leaves except for one semi large maple near the house that drops very late, after Thanksgiving. I think it is a silver maple. I have an electric blower/vac that chops them up and I spread them on the flower beds as is. I would love to have more leaves and some of our neighbors even bag theirs, but they also put yucky stuff in the bags, so I don't want them. We have put leaves into all of our concrete step stones, vein side down does best. They just weather away, you don't have to try and get them out once the concrete cures.
    Frances
    new url
    http://fairegarden.wordpress.com/

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  9. What creative things to do with leaves. I'm going to use mine as compost.

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  10. Great ideas on how to use leaves Dave. I usually mulch some of them into my lawn, rake some of them into the beds for winter to act as mulch, & compost the majority.

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