Beautiful changing leaves are one of autumn’s greatest gifts, but raking those leaves up once they hit the ground is not as fun. However, these raked leaves hold underappreciated benefits. Rather than sending them to the green waste can this year, put them to good use with these three strategies for green disposal.
Mow them into your lawn
For standard coarse grass lawns, fallen leaves actually make a great fertilizer. Moving leaves into small pieces allows them to release nutrients into your lawn as they decompose, recycling nutrients into your yard and reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
No lawn? Use them as mulch elsewhere
If you don’t have a lawn, you can still use your leaves as a source of nutrients by scattering them on plants. Break them down with a mower so they decompose more easily and scatter them at the base of trees and shrubs or in your vegetable garden. Mulched leaves help regulate soil temperature, reduce evaporation, and help keep weeds at bay.
Just like food scraps from your kitchen, fallen leaves can easily be composted to feed your garden later. Mix them into your compost pile to add nutrient diversity.
In nature, there is no waste. At the end of its lifecycle, organic matter is reincorporated into the ecosystem to feed future growth. Replicate this natural cycle in your own yard this fall by putting those fallen leaves to good use for more vibrant growth in the spring.