How to use autumn leaves in the garden? 6 easy and practical ideas for great results!

Written by Kristiyana Burdeva

Day after day I clean the fallen autumn leaves in my garden, and in the morning it’s like no cleaning has been done at all. Believe me, I love autumn, and its beautiful richly-coloured leaves. But currently there is such an abundance of them in my backyard that I haven’t got the slightest of clue what to do with all these leaves. I wish there was some way I could make use of them, instead of having to think every day how to proceed with the huge quantities on my lawn. Could there be some easy and practical solutions and ideas? Why, yes, I think there are! Find out by looking at these 6 awesome tips on how to use autumn leaves in the garden! Sounds neat, doesn’t it?

1. Form a compost with your leaves

how to make a compost with leaves_diy garden compost


A great way to use autumn leaves in the garden is to add them to a compost pile. Compost is made from decayed organic material, and it is used as a fertilizer for growing plants. Autumn leaves are a source of brown, high-carbon material and will be a great ingredient to add to your compost. Mix a pile of shredded leaves with other organic materials such as grass clippings, fruit, and vegetable scraps and weeds. Leave it to decompose in winter, and it will be ready for your spring planting! And if you tend to spend more time in your flat, than you do in the garden, I am sure there are ways to compost there without having smelly odours and attracting flies.

2. Use them as mulch for your garden

diy mulch ideas_leaves as garden mulch


Autumn leaves can also be used as protective organic mulch. Just shred the leaves, and then use them in your crops garden, flower beds, or to cover overwintering perennials, and new seedlings. Use your lawn mower to simply run over the leaves. Take the chopped pieces and spread them around your garden, making so that the mulch doesn’t directly touch the plants’ stems. The autumn leaves mulch aids in moisturizing the soil, keeps weeds at bay and helps maintain a steady soil temperature.

3. Make leaf mould with autumn leaves

tips for the garden_organic garden mold

If you are looking for a soil amendment for your vegetable and flower garden, then leaf mould is just what you need! Leaf mould can also be a nice addition to potting soil. What you must simply do is take some autumn leaves and store them in plastic bags or bins. Leave them to decompose for at least a year, if you can more, and then you will have the perfect homemade soil amendment to use for your garden. And completely free!

4. Lawn conditioner for your garden

what can you use fall leaves for_how to make organic mould

Why should you get rid of all the autumn leaves on your lawn? They can be a great conditioner, providing your soil with rich minerals and keeping weeds away! You just need to run them over with a mulching lawn mower and shred them to tiny pieces. Over time, they will break down and serve as protection for your soil during the cold days. This will be done best if you have a mulching lawn mower. That one will shred the leaves into small enough pieces which won’t require being removed from the lawn.

5. Autumn leaves for storing root vegetables

how to use autumn leaves in the garden_ how to store root vegetables

Wondering how to protect your stored root vegetables over the upcoming winter days? Here is an idea I came up with! Since I have a lot of carrots and beets from this planting season, I thought of an easy and adequate way to store them during winter.  First, I gathered a pile of freshly fallen autumn leaves. Then I picked out a nice, cool place with humidity to store my root vegetables. I took the pile of leaves and placed them in carefully-put layers between the vegetables. This way they will be safely protected during winter.

6. Save the fall leaves for spring time

use autumn leaves in the garden_how to use autumn leaves in the garden

Now there is an abundance of autumn leaves in your garden, but you won’t have any of those in spring! And when the warm season comes, you will surely be in need of some organic minerals to prepare your garden soil for new plants! Why not save some leaves for springtime? Simply take a rubbish or other type of bag, and store dry autumn leaves inside. The dry material will be a great addition to your compost in spring, as it will keep the organic pile fresh and neat. Always good to think ahead!

Don’t you feel warm on the inside when you can put to practical use something that is often taken for granted, like the beautiful and multipurpose autumn leaves? With just a few easy ideas we managed to create something useful, sufficient and completely organic for the benefit of our lovely gardens! I really hope these tips were of good use to you and your garden, and now you look upon the fallen leaves on your lawn not with annoyance, but with delight!

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