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What to Do With Fall Leaves

Updated on November 9, 2009

Leaves, Leaves, Everywhere!

We have an abundance of these colorful beauties in the yard! This year, instead of just bagging them and putting them on the curb, maybe you can try these ideas:
1. Stuff an orange garbage bag "pumpkin" to put on your front step.
2.  Compost. The most obvious use.  Layer shredded fall leaves with manure or the end of your compost and in the spring you will have beautiful compost for the garden.
3.  Mulch. I have a couple spots in my yard where mowing the weeds is problematic and difficult.  I pile the leaves up and never have to mow. You can also use the leaves to mulch your beds for over wintering and to protect your plants for the winter.
4.  Decoration. One year I had more time than I do now (!) and I pressed the prettiest maple leaves until they dried, then strung them on thread and decorated the windows with the garlands. They really kept their color. This would make an unusual Christmas garland, too. Or, put a few on your Thanksgiving table for decoration.
5. Make a game during Thanksgiving.  Write questions or riddles on the leaves and let your kids pick a leaf and read what's written on the back side.  Don't tell them ahead of time and it will be a nice surprise!
6.  Insulation.  Pile the leaves around the dog house for winter and you will have a bit more insulation for the dogs when they are outside.
I'm pretty sure you could have a mouse or rat problem if you have piles of leaves around, so I wouldn't pile leaves next to the house.
7.  Give to a gardener. You might give your leaves to a gardener who has compost piles. You never know. It would be better than putting them in landfills inside plastic bags.


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    • carriegoff profile image

      carriegoff 8 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you! I remember making "place mats" in school ironing leaves between sheets of wax paper. Thanks for reminding me!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      As you say, Fall leaves make the best compost ever! If I remember correctly my grandmother used to iron pretty leaves in between waxed paper. The bit of melted wax seemed to help preserve the leaves a bit longer.

      I like your ideas of doing things to recycle instead of merely filling landfills.