255_jgt-leaf-1  - The Julie Gritton Team

Different uses for Fall leaves

The feeling of Fall is here and by just looking out the window of my house, it amazes me to see the number of leaves that  are piling up in my yard.  With their abundance in numbers and viewing the variety of beautiful colors, the question struck me.  What can I do with them?  It isn’t really something I have personally thought about too deeply, but the possibilities seem to be endless.  So what can you do with all of that extra Fall foliage?  Here are some interesting things that peaked my interest.

Over the past few years, I have been trying to learn more about gardening.  Through my crash-course learning about leaves, it turns out there are a lot of uses that can benefit your home garden.  One thing I was already familiar with was shredding up leaves to create mulch.  Mulching helps prevent the growth of weeds and if mixed into soil can add extra nutrients for plants.  If you are interested in mulching leaves for your garden, don’t stop there!  It’s also great for your lawn health as well.  There were also other uses for gardens that I was not as familiar with.

An article titled “Eight Ways to Use Fall Leaves in the Garden” written by Margaret Boyles had some fantastic ideas including creating a compost pile and leaf mold.  I had heard of creating a compost pile, but it had not occurred to me that leaves would be a great addition.  All you need to do is create a pile of leaves that are layered three to four inches of leaves to one inch of green matter such as decaying plants, grass clippings, and table scraps.  Turn over every once in a while over the course of the Winter, spray with a little moisture when necessary, and you will have compost ready to incorporate into your garden in the Spring.  Something I had not heard of (but my husband had!) was creating leaf mold.  Just rake leaves into a pile in a designated area and keep moist until mold starts to grow.  In one to three years, the leaf mold will be ready and will be a great soil conditioner that will add calcium and magnesium to your garden.

If gardening isn’t of any interest, leaves are also a wonderful material to use for other creative ventures.  An article titled “42 Best Autumn Leaf Craft Ideas to Help You Fall Into the Season” from Country Living had some wonderful ideas!  You can make a wreath that incorporates all of the colorful leaves in your yard that can stay festive throughout the Fall and Winter.  Do you have some fallen branches in your yard in addition to leaves?  Gather them up and create a beautiful Fall bouquet that you can decorate your home with or gift to someone.  Leaves can also be used as a stamps on multiple different mediums!  Depending on what paint you decide to use, you can create unique cards, decorate cloth, or just create an art piece on canvas.  A very simple creative use for leaves that would add a festive touch for any upcoming dinners with company would be to use them as place card.  An oil-based paint pen is recommended for writing on the leaves is recommended in the Country Living article.  For the picture in this blog, I used a chalk metallic marker.  Although it showed up well in the picture, it was a little tougher to see when just looking at it in person.

If you love looking out your window and relish viewing the colors in the trees and on your lawn, that’s wonderful too!  As you admire their beauty, you are also benefitting nature by letting them be.  Leaves can protect tender plants over the course of the winter and create natural cover for hibernating animals such as natural pollinators that will wake up come Spring and thank you by helping pollinate your garden.

The options are endless in the versatility of the fallen leaves around you that were not even mentioned in this article.  To find out more about what you have found in this blog post or to discover other uses for leaves, please visit the links below to the articles that were used here as resources.  Thank you for reading and until next time, stay warm and we on the Julie Gritton Team look forward to hearing from you soon!