Leaves, Don’t Burn ‘Em, Use ‘Em

I like to run.  It is very refreshing to me.  But, in the fall, it would do me good to wear a gas mask when I go running.  Our small town looks as if it’s been bombed with smoke coming from almost every yard.  Burning leaves is a daily occurrence with some here in San Pierre.  But, nutrient-packed leaves have better uses for our lawn and garden.

Putting leaves in your compost is a good way to build up your soil.  I recommend that you shred the leaves first, for better break down.  If you don’t have a shredder, then run over the pile of leaves with your lawn mower a few times.  Make sure you have a good mix of organic material and not just leaves in your compost.

Another way to use those leaves is for mulch the following year.  Just bag them up and save them, then put    them in between your garden rows or flower beds.  You can also save these leaves for animal bedding or a nutrient snack for you livestock such as goats.  They appreciate something different to eat in the middle of winter!

We like to incorporate the leaves in the garden.  We mow over the leaves to shred them, then rake them up and pile them high in the back of the truck.  The kids enjoy jumping on that pile and packing it down so that we can add more.  Once it is full, we drive the truck over the gardens with the kids on the tailgate.  They throw piles of leaves or slide them off of the truck tailgate onto the garden.  My husband comes from behind with the tractor and tiller and immediately tills them under.  It’s a wonderful way to use what we have here on the farm to put nutrients back into the soil.  And, it’s free!

If you don’t have a garden, rake most of the leaves up, then shred them with your lawn mower or leaf shredder and keep some on your lawn.  Your grass will be fed organically without those nasty chemical sprays!

If you have any other uses for your leaves, I’d love to hear them!  Feel free to leave a comment if you’d like.

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