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How to Turn Fallen Leaves Into Something Useful

11/22/2016 6:31 PM Comments Posted By admin user
With the fall season comes an abundance of fallen leaves. But, before you rake them up or send them to the trash bin, make something useful out of them first.

More than helping nourish your garden soil and making an organic compost, fallen leaves also make great crafts you can display in your home. There are so many ways to take advantage of the abundance of fallen leaves this fall season.

#1 Leaf Mold

The most effortless thing to do with fallen leaves is to let them decompose into an all-leaf compost. To make your all-natural leaf mold, you just need to prepare a wire bin or plastic bag where you can store the fallen leaves you have collected. Then, leave the leaves for two years or more and let moisture take over in breaking down your fallen leaves into a rich leaf mold.

After over two years, what used to be fallen leaves will turn into a light, sweet-smelling, airy-textured, and dark-colored leaf mold you can use to make your garden richer. Because of the leaf mold’s water-retaining quality, it can be used as soil conditioner, mulch for perennial and vegetable gardens, garden soil-topper, and amendment for sandy or loose soil.

#2 Mulch

Mulch is the layer of material used to cover an area of soil to retain moisture, improve the soil’s health, and to suppress weed growth. Mulch is pretty much the security blanket of an area of soil, and one of the best materials to use as mulch is your collection of fallen leaves. Just spread them over your plant bed, plant pots or containers, or around newly planted trees.

A heavy mulch of fallen leaves can also help protect delicate plants such as garlic and strawberries from the harmful freeze-thaw cycles of the upcoming winter season.

#3 Compost

Another great way to recycle and make something useful out of fallen leaves is by turning them into a nutrient-rich compost. Compost helps create a security blanket over your plants, loosen compacted earth, increase your garden soil’s porosity, and add nutrients to the garden soil. But, compost should have a right balance of carbon and nitrogen to achieve benefits.

Chop up or shred the fallen leaves to break them down faster in the compost. To balance out the browns or carbon of your fallen leaves, add green materials such as grass clipping, leafy plant trimmings, kitchen scraps, livestock manure, etc. to your compost pile. To assist in the composting process of your pile, you also need to turn and water your compost pile regularly.

#4 Fall Wreath

If you’re not much into gardening, you can use your collected fallen leaves to make Thanksgiving crafts instead. One seasonal craft you can make is a fall or Thanksgiving wreath. It would be perfect as a decor to your Thanksgiving Day dinner as well. There are tons of DIY fallen leaves wreath you can find online and make yourself. But, below’s a simple wreath tutorial.

Fred Gonsowki’s basic DIY wreath tutorial only requires fallen leaves (maple leaves preferably), an old wire hanger, a green florist wire (#24 GA), wire cutters, and a wired ribbon. It only requires four simple steps: forming a bunch of 10 same-sized leaves, forming the wire hanger into a circle, attaching the bunch of leaves on the wire hanger, and making a bow to finish it up.

#5 Place Cards

Another way to make fallen leaves useful this fall and Thanksgiving season is by transforming them into classy-looking place cards. Sort out the accumulated fallen leaves in your yard and look for pretty and intact leaves you can still use as place cards. When mixed with creativity, fallen leaves can transform into classy yet natural-looking place cards fit for any occasion.

To transform your fallen leaves into place cards, you can either apply imitation gold leaf on them, spray paint them , cover them with glitter, or simply write on them using metallic pens.

#6 Art Canvas

If you aspire to be an artist or painter someday, Polish artist Joanna Wiraizka’s artworks may inspire you. This 17-year old artist uses fallen leaves as her medium of choice. She painstakingly dries, flattens, and coats fallen leaves with black water-based acrylic paint before painting stunning cityscapes, night skies, buildings, beaches, and landscapes on these leaves.

Try out using fallen leaves as your canvas too and get started in your painted-leaf art collection. Who knows, your artworks may also achieve recognition like Wiraizka in the future.

Before throwing your fallen leaves away or before giving them away for pick up, try the above tips and make something useful out of your accumulated fallen leaves.


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