1. USE THEM FOR MULCH!
When the leaves fall, that means winter is coming. Make sure that you are ready with a lot of mulch to protect your garden beds. Add a layer of leaves to add protection from the cold, wet weather and you’ll have healthier plants in the springtime.
2. CREATE NEXT YEAR’S GARDEN BEDS AND BINS
As the year winds down, use that time to prepare your garden beds for the next year. Add leaves to build soil over the winter in those beds. For instance, many gardeners suggest that you can build a potato bin with your old leaves: “Build the wire frames right now, put them in place, and begin to fill them with leaves. Come spring, the leaves will be partially decomposed.”
3. FEED YOUR LAWN
Fall leaves are full of nutrients that many plants can use, and this includes your lawn. Use your mower to turn your leaves into tiny pieces that settle in your lawn. These will decompose and provide an all-natural lawn food
4. DIY COMPOST
If you find yourself spending money on compost every spring, try DIY compost instead. Take those leaves and pile them in a place that’s out of the way or put them in a compost bin. Add your veggie scraps (no meats) from the kitchen. All of this will decompose, and then you can dig out the rich compost and use it in your garden in the spring.
5. INSULATE AROUND TENDER PLANTS
While you know that you can use leaves to insulate ground plants, you can also use them to insulate the entire plant. If you have a tender plant that needs a blanket for the winter months, build a cage around the plant, add leaves, and let them help your plants through the winter. This is a particularly good technique in climates that are cold but not wet, so damp leaves will not lead to rot on your plants.
6. MAKE A SCARECROW
Are you looking for a project for your kids or grandkids? If so, making a scarecrow not only scares away the birds from your fall garden – it’s an engaging weekend project for the kids. Use old clothes and stuff them with some dry leaves, then put your scarecrow on a pole in the garden.
7. DECORATE WITH YOUR LEAVES
Some fall leaves are more attractive than others. If you have a constant supply of leaves, add a vase to your front porch and put the most vibrant leaves in there. Add fall flowers in the center or enjoy your leaves as they are.
8. MAKE A PLAYGROUND FOR THE KIDS
While this is a temporary use for your leaves, it’s probably the most fun. Rake up your leaves in piles and enjoy jumping into them with the kids! If you don’t have children or grandchildren, see if a local school or preschool would like the leaves for this purpose or for fall crafts.