Gorgeous autumn colors and a full harvest of fall vegetables may bring garden lovers plenty of joy, but when it comes to raking and bagging the zillions of leaves piling up in your outdoor space so that your grass won’t rot, there’s not much to cheer about. Or is there? There are plenty of creative ways to use fall leaves, including lots of family-friendly projects that incorporate them. Here are some of our favorites.
Use dead leaves to protect flowers
Some varieties – such as delicate tea roses – need extra TLC to endure harsh winters, and a layer of fallen leaves helps protect them once temperatures plummet. Just be sure to remove this leafy carpet come spring, so the sunshine can get in.
Start building a potato bin
The gals at SavvyGardening.com have a great tutorial for growing potatoes in a tight space and your giant pile o’ leaves makes a perfect foundation for it, because the more leaves you have lining your potato bin, the better!
Make food for your lawn
Roll over your dead leaves several times with a lawnmower until the leaves are shredded up into tiny pieces. Once the leaves decompose, they’ll soon begin feeding your lawn, because they’re rich in many nutrients.
Set them aside to become spring mulch for your veggie patch
One of the best ways to keep weeds down is using a technique called lasagna gardening. Once you’ve covered your planting area with about 10 sheets of newsprint, you’ll need lots of leaves, so save them up in a pile until the spring, and then spread them out thickly over the newspaper. When you’re ready to plant, simply punch holes through the paper and pop your plants in.
Boost your compost pile
Keep bags of dried-out leaves so you can add them as organic material to your compost bin year-round. Remember, for every five-gallon pail of grass clippings or food scraps you dump in, you’ll need three five-gallon pails of dry brown material like dead leaves.
Craft a lovely fall wreath for your front door
Want a textured décor accessory that costs absolutely nothing? Make this fall leaf wreath and boost your curb appeal! This project is easy enough to do with children, and you can choose leaves that are all one color or simply gather up a whole pile for a casual look.
Make a decorative leaf bowl
Another kid-friendly project: get your little ones to grab a bunch of leaves from the yard. You’ll also need a balloon, white glue, a sponge paintbrush and scissors. Follow this easy tutorial and before long, you’ll have a gorgeous leaf bowl for your table.
Share how you’re using your fall leaves and send us your photos!
PHOTO CREDIT INFORMATION:
Leaf Wreath: Courtesy of BrenDid.com