What to do with fallen leaves

Family picking up fallen leaves in Autumn

With Autumn in full swing, trees gracefully shed their leaves and our lawns boost a dark, rich shade of orange. Although the cold weather may be tempting to let nature run its course, it can be damaging to our lawns to allow these leaves to gather.

In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of removing fallen leaves from your lawn and the many creative ways you can put these leaves to good use.

The Importance of Leaf Removal

Allowing leaves to gather on your lawn can block out sunlight and air which your grass needs to survive. At GreenThumb, we advise you to remove the leaves from your lawn daily or at least once a week – your GreenThumb Lawn Operative and lawn will be thankful!

  • Leaves left to accumulate on your lawn can smother the grass beneath, depriving it of vital sunlight and oxygen. This can lead to a weakened, patchy lawn come spring.
  • A thick layer of wet leaves can create a cozy breeding ground for fungi and diseases that can harm your grass. Leaf removal helps maintain a healthy lawn.
  • Removing leaves allows your grass to continue growing and helps it establish a strong root system for the following year.

What to do with Fallen Leaves

Mowing: Simply mowing the leaves is the easiest solution to your leaf problem. By mowing the leaves, you’re compacting and mulching them at the same time, allowing them to decompose much quicker.

Leaf Mulch: Similar to mowing, Leaf Mulch is a layer of shredded leaves that is applied to the surface of the soil.

It is super easy to do and is a great alternative to throwing them away. You need to collect any fallen leaves, avoiding any that are diseased. Then shred the leaves as much as you can and simply spread around and over your plants and flower beds – 2 to 3 inches thick avoiding the stem.

Leaf Mulch has several benefits. Not only will it preserve your garden’s soil from erosion, it also works as a barrier preventing weeds and other grasses from growing. It can also act as insulation for plants, animals, and insects, specifically, useful in safeguarding worms from prey.

Compost: Fallen leaves are a fantastic addition to your compost pile. Given a little time, Autumn leaves make a rich, organic compost that adds nutrients to the garden’s soil. In your compost bin, you need to ensure the leaves are moist, mixed with green material such as grass clippings or food scraps, and turned and watered regularly to allow oxygen to circulate.

Making compost from leaves does require patience and time. It can take up to 12 months for a thick black compost. But if you persevere, it is great for your plants, flowers, and lawn.

Insulation: Bags of leaves can act like insulation. If you dry out as many leaves as you can, bag them tightly together and then store in cold areas of your home, including the garden shed. These bags of leaves will then help keep the space warm during winter. By doing this, it will also give you a rich source of brown material for your compost bin the following year!

DIY Crafting: Get creative with your leaves! Use them for crafting projects like leaf garlands, wreaths, or pressed leaf art. They're perfect for seasonal decorations. Country Living have many great ideas on how you can get your craft on with leaves: https://www.countryliving.com/diy-crafts/g1899/fall-leaf-crafts/ 

While the sight of fallen leaves is beautiful, their impact on your lawn’s health shouldn’t be underestimated. By removing them and exploring creative ways to repurpose them, you’ll not only maintain a lush, healthy lawn but also contribute to sustainable practices.

Autumn and Winter can be a testing time for our lawns, but your effort this season will be worth it come spring.

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