How to Use Fallen Leaves to Good Use in the Garden: 6 Ideas

Make leaf humus

You can use leaf humus as mulch or to acidify the soil. Leafy humus on its own is not very useful, but it holds soil moisture and attracts useful earthworms.

It is better to gather leaves for humus when the weather is wet. If it’s dry outside, moisten the leaves with water. Fill garden bags with leaves and tamp them down firmly. Puncture the bag in several places and leave the top open. Leave the bag in a damp place and in about a year the humus will be ready. Birch and maple decompose faster.

Add to compost

Add the fallen leaves to the compost pile and stir to make the compost more useful and nutritious. Such compost can be used as fertilizer.

Mulch with fallen leaves

Rake the leaves into the vegetable plot or garden, and cover the ground evenly with the leaves. This mulch will keep weeds from growing, fertilize the soil, and prevent salts and minerals from leaching out of the soil. You can also cover perennial flowers such as roses and hydrangeas with leaves.

Use for planting houseplants

Leaves from deciduous trees are a great addition to soil for indoor flowers. Crush the leaves with annual weeds, removing the flowers and roots from the weeds. This mixture can be added to the soil for room sprouts.

Fertilize your lawn

If you have a lawn, fallen leaves are a great natural fertilizer for it. Rake the leaves onto the lawn and in dry weather, go over the grass with a lawn mower with the basket off. The shredded leaves will eventually break down on the lawn, fertilizing the soil and filling it with oxygen.

Make a home for hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are very useful on the farm – they eat insects and caterpillars that harm cultivated plants. To attract hedgehogs to your plot, leave a large pile of leaves by the fence or at the edge of the garden. These piles can be settled in by the animals.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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