Autumn brings beautiful colors and tons of leaves to be raked! Instead of putting all the leaves on the curb to take up more space in the landfill, I’m going to try my hand at composting them or making a leaf mold. At the old house we had a compost bin that we started with leaves and added the usual table scraps, yard waste, etc. However, the leaves took FOREVER to break down and blew out of the front of the bin. I still think this is a good way to go if you don’t have a ton of leaves. Here is a few other ideas to keep leaves out of the landfill, plus all of these seem easier than carefully filly a bazillion bags of leaves to leave out for the trash man.
We have a ton of leaves so I need a different use for them. I had never heard of leaf mold but I saw it mentioned in one of my seed catalogs as a good soil amendment. As I was looking at the backyard this weekend wondering what we were going to do with all the leaves I thought back on leaf mold. After a little research it sounds pretty easy to create and useful for the garden I am planning on creating over the next couple of years. Basically, you create a wire bin around 3′ X 3′ and throw your leaves in it. Keep them as damp as possible and in a couple of years you get mostly decomposed leaves. This “Leaf Mold” can then be added to the soil to lower the density and create better water retention (possibly up to 50% more than regular soil), or used as mulch. If you don’t want to make your wire bin I found these super easy sacks at Sears or pre-made bins at Gardner’s Supply Company. They also have a much more in depth article on making leaf mold on their site.
Mow Them Over
If you don’t have a ton of leaves and don’t want to compost them then you can always just mow over them. The tiny particles will degrade over the winter giving your lawn some extra coverage and fertilizer.
Leaves can also be used in a variety of crafts/home decor. For starters, they make great stuffing for fall scarecrows. You can press leaves and use them for a variety of crafts from printed table cloths to picture mats. (For ideas you can google leaf crafts or check out the queen of crafts, Martha Stewart. You can also use them for garlands and recently I made centerpieces.