Fallen leaves can be a serious issue. Especially if you don’t know how to deal with them. Hopefully, you find this guide before your yard drowns in leaves as it will help you prepare in advance. Use our best tips to get rid of leaves effectively and get the most out of them afterward!
Shred (Mulch) The Leaves
If processing the fallen leaves sounds like the best option for you, prepare your leaf shredder to make some high-quality mulch! But are your $100-$200 worth an option to shred leaves into smaller pieces? The answer is yes, regardless of the use case. First, you can mulch leaves to reduce the space they take. It can simplify disposal a lot. Second, you can use the mulch around the garden to:
- suppress weed growth in the plant beds;
- prevent plants from frosting in winter;
- improve soil drainage for plants that require well-drained soil;
- improve soil nutrient capacity;
- make the garden bed look more visually appealing in places where lawn cannot be grown.
Compost or Make Leaf Mold
Alternatively, you can use leaf mulch as a brown material for your compost pile or make leaf mold. The first option requires mixing the mulch with other compost materials in the right proportions. It’s a good way to process any organic litter and reuse it for good. Fallen leaves include the important nitrogen component that balances nitrogen levels in the compost.
If your compost pile is full, you can store the leaves in garden composters and take out the brown matter when needed. The second option requires you to rake the leaves into one huge pile. Keep the leaves moist, and you will receive a valuable soil conditioner in 1-3 years. You can later add it to the tired garden or potting soil to supply it with more calcium and magnesium.
Vacuum Them Up
If raking the leaves and mulching them afterward isn’t the best option for you, you can benefit from using a vacuum leaf shredder. These tools let you simply vacuum the leaves from the entire yard and mulch them right away. Once the container gets full, you can easily relocate the leaves into the trash bags for disposal or anywhere else for processing.
Mow the Leaves into Lawn
This may sound crazy, but you can actually mulch the leaves with the mulching lawnmower and leave them right on the lawn as a fertilizer. Set the blades 3” high and mow once a week until the leaves stop falling. Evenly spread mulch will fertilize the soil and add up the strength to your lawn. However, you should avoid thick layers of leaves as they may block oxygen and destroy entire patches of the lawn. Use rakes to spread the mulch more evenly if needed.
Use Leaves to Store Root Vegetables
Root vegetables, such as kale, carrots, and kale can be stored between the layers of fresh, crisp leaves. Blow or rake some leaves into a bag, relocate them to a cool humid spot and put all your carrots, beet, and any other root veggies to keep them fresh for months. You can sprinkle the layers of leaves with some water to make the environment more humid if it’s too dry.
Use Leaves as Insulation
Unmulched fallen leaves can be used as winter insulation for trees and shrubs. You have to circle plants with wire fencing and fill the space inside with leaves. They will keep the temperature higher up until spring. When the warmer days come, simply remove the fences and relocate the leaves to the compost bin.
The Most Underrated Crops
Congratulations! Your gardening skills are now much more advanced. You can give a second life to the fallen leaves in your yard and save up on fertilizers and disposal. The power of the fallen leaves is underrated, but it is all under your control now!