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What to do With AUTUMN Leaves?

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There are so many beneficial uses for autumn leaves that are better than sending them to the landfill. Here are a few:

1. Make a garden path: Mix whole leaves with gravel or wood chips to create a dry, weed-blocking path through garden spaces.

2. Make mulch: Shredded leaves are a perfect organic mulch. The leaves can limit weeds and help retain winter moisture. In mild climates, a bed of leaves can insulate some tender plants from winter’s chills. 

3. Mix leaves into the soil: If you don't plan to maintain the vegetable garden or annual flowerbeds through winter, till shredded leaves into the garden. The decomposing leaves will add nutrients, boost the organic content, improve the soil structure and encourage earthworms and other beneficial creatures

4. Add to compost heap: If you are already composting, you can make an even more valuable soil amendment by adding shredded leaves to the compost bin or pile.

5. Save for spring compost: If you are composting your autumn leaves, you may also consider saving a couple of bags of leaves. “Brown” carbon-rich materials can be tough to find in the spring and summer.

6. Feed the lawn (judiciously): Once the leaves have decomposed, the compost is great for the lawn.  By the same token, a thin layer of shredded leaves can break down over the winter and provide some nutrients to the grass.

7. Entertain the kids: Most young children would have listed “jump into them” at the top of this list of uses for fall leaves. To make leaf ghosts, glue googly eyes, sequins and other decorations to large, colorful leaves. Kids can also make beautiful placemats by simply pressing leaves between two books, arranging them on a board and holding them in place with contact paper.

8. Make fall decorations: Fall leaves are a great addition to Halloween displays. There are also plenty of other ways to incorporate the beautiful colors of fall into decorations such as wreaths, window boxes and imitation stained glass.

 
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