The wind and rain from the last few Connecticut storms have certainly increased the number of fallen leaves on the ground. Chances are you have at least one leaf pile sitting in your yard and by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, you’ll likely have a lot more. Some cities and towns offer free leaf litter pick up, however, there are some other ways to naturally dispose of fallen leaves.
One of the most common ways to dispose of fallen leaves is to make mulch. Leaves make a great insulator for perennials and root crops. The best thing about using fallen leaves as mulch is that it is free!
You can also make compost with fallen leaves. Pile them on a protected spot on the edge of your lawn, mix throughout the year with natural (no pesticide residue) grass clippings and vegetable scraps (no meat or cheese). Be sure to turn the pile and use plenty of fallen leaves to mix in. Let it rest once the pile is too big to turn and voila in a few months you’ll have a nitrogen-rich compost to use in your flower and vegetable gardens. You’ll need at least two piles if you want to continue making your own compost.
Put some leaves in a bag to keep them over winter. In spring, fill your planting containers about halfway with tightly-packed leaves, then add regular potting soil and plants. The leaves will break down and feed the plant. This will save on the cost of potting soil.
Leaves can also make a great craft activity for kids. Enjoy the fall weather and take your child on a walk. Let them pick the prettiest leaves and then store them in a small plastic bag. There are some great ideas on kid’s leaf crafts on www.playideas.com. You can display your child’s creations for the family at Thanksgiving. They will surely feel proud to see their art on display.
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P.O. Box 56 Andover, CT 06232