Fall will be here before you know it and that means it’s only a matter of weeks before you’re staring at a yard full of fallen leaves. Though those fall colors can make your home’s exterior look festive and add a touch of seasonal flair, they can also make your yard less well-put-together when they fall to the ground. Raking them up and bagging them for the trash truck to haul off is always an option, but did you know that you can use the leaves to improve your garden? Here are a few proven tips from your preferred tree company
to help you deal with those fallen leaves.
Mulch Your Yard
Leaves are a great way to bolster the mulch in your garden beds. As they break down, they deposit nutrients into the soil. Those nutrients slowly get absorbed by your plants during the growing season. Though chemical fertilizers will be able to do the same thing come spring, they can end up shocking your plants, leading to root scorch and changes in the soil’s pH. Because leaves are natural, they won’t damage your plants or dramatically change the pH content in the soil. Your plants and the soil in the garden beds will be set up for success come spring without the use of potentially harmful chemical fertilizers.
Fertilize Your Grass
Your garden beds aren’t the only part of your landscaping that can benefit from a bit of fertilizer. Your lawn can, too. Instead of raking up the leaves and tossing them into a garbage bag, spread them evenly over your lawn. You may want to break them up first so the leaves will decompose and break down more quickly. Sprinkle the leaf mulch over your grass and let time do the rest. The longer the leaves decompose, the more nutrients they deposit into the soil beneath your lawn. This can go a long way toward keeping your grass healthy and helping it survive the winter. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be careful with this method if you live in a neighborhood with an HOA. Check the rules and make sure you’re allowed to leave fallen leaves in place. If not, you’ll have to rake them up and dispose of them unless you want to pay a fine.
Establish a Compost Pile
Natural compost is one of the easiest ways to feed your plants the nutrients they need during the growing season, but it takes time to get started. Collect your fallen leaves and store them in a spot where they can break down over the course of the winter. Look for a sheltered area that’s protected from the wind. Don’t worry—it can be open to the elements. Pile the leaves in that spot and let them sit over the course of the winter. By spring, you’ll have a pile of mineral and nutrient-rich compost that you can spread throughout your garden and landscaping. As an added bonus, you’ll even save money by not having to purchase compost from your local garden center.
Prepare Younger Plants for Winter
It’s normal for Denver winters to be intense. Temperatures drop below freezing almost nightly and heavy snow and ice storms can damage your landscaping in a matter of hours. The best thing you can do for your plants is to protect their roots for the winter. Though mulch will help keep the soil temperatures from plummeting, it’s not always enough. Gather your fall leaves and spread a thick layer around the base of your more fragile plants and trees. Then, cover those leaves with mulch to hold them in place. This will make your mulch more resistant to wind and allows you to better protect your younger plants even when the weather is extreme.
Create Leaf Piles for the Kids
There’s nothing better than being able to jump in a large pile of leaves as a child. Let the kids in your family enjoy the experience this fall by raking your yard and collecting the leaves in large piles. Make them as big as you can and let the kids jump in them until the piles are gone. You can even join in on the fun if you’re feeling young at heart. Just take care to remove any large branches, sticks, or debris that could end up hurting someone. Once the leaves get distributed across the yard, you can either rake them up into piles again or collect them in garbage bags and dispose of them properly. Keep in mind that your kids may have so much fun that they’ll handle the raking for you as long as they’re allowed to play in the piles for several days.
Use Them to Decorate Your Home for Fall
Leaves are one of the best fall decorations to incorporate beautiful natural colors into your home. Sure, you can buy fake ones from craft stores in town, but it’s easier, cheaper, and better to use the leaves that fall in your yard. Collect ones that are still in good condition and have vibrant colors. Clean the leaves gently with water and let them dry completely. Then, coat them with Mod Podge or spray finish to keep the colors from fading. Once they’re dry, you can add them to centerpieces, hang them in fall wreaths, and add touches of color to your potted plants. If you’re feeling creative and want to add more permanent decorations to your home, mount the leaves on white picture frame matting. Then, set the entire piece into the frame of your choice. You’ll have beautiful seasonal artwork you can enjoy for years to come.
Don’t Forget to Give Your Trees TLC
The fall months leave trees’ limbs bare and makes many homeowners think that they don’t have to worry about upkeep or tree care throughout the colder months. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Your trees still need routine trimming and pruning to thrive when the growing season rolls back around. Contact our team and let us inspect your trees before and after the leaves fall. We’ll make sure they’re ready for the winter weather.