Eight ways to reuse dead leaves this autumn, according to a gardening expert - such as home decor & composting
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One of the best aesthetics is when trees fall to the ground in their eye-catching golden yellow and rich red state, but the inevitable clean up can still cause a headache for gardeners and the pile can appear to be never ending.
According to Graham Barrett, gardening expert at Beanbags.co.uk, instead of a huge effort to get rid of leaves, each one can prove valuable and has a purpose after falling to the ground.
8 ways to reuse dead leaves this autumn
1. Mowing over the dead leaves
Whenyou mow your grass, you should aim to mow over the dead leaves. The blades will chop them up and distribute them throughout your lawn as mulch. The leaf particles are also useful for your plants because when broken down they will help your plants grow stronger roots.
2. Add them to a compost pile
If you have loads of dead leaves you can create a compost pile. All you need to do is leave them in the corner of the back garden over winter, turn the pile occasionally and give it a quick water if it looks too dry - then the leaves will break down into a rich soil that can be used as fertiliser for your plants.
3. Make a leaf mould
If composting seems like too much work then why not try making a leaf mould. Just rake the leaves into a big pile in the corner of the garden for the winter. After that, the leaves should have disintegrated into a dark, sweet-smelling, soil conditioner.
4. Use them to mulch
Weeds are the bane of every gardener’s life. To mulch, just place dead shredded leaves around plants to keep the soil moist and suppress the roots of weeds by blocking their access to sunlight.
5. Use them in your garden shed for insulation
Simply pile up your dead leaves in your shed and cover them in a plastic sheet. The plastic will lock in the moisture and stop the leaves from blowing away.
6. Protect your root vegetables
Sheds aren’t the only things in the garden that leaves can insulate. With costs rising a lot of people are switching to growing their own veg and dead leaves can help insulate root vegetables stored in the ground such as carrots, kale and leeks.
7. Use them as home decor
Dead leaves can serve as a nice aesthetic in your home. Simply drape them over hanging baskets / plants for a nice look, or even decorate the tables for an autumnal feel. If you’re looking for something more elaborate, try placing some dry flowers inside a large bowl with differently coloured dead leaves that are all roughly the same size and voila, you have a nice decorative piece.
8. Make a wall print
When the weather is dry enough, you can press leaves between two sheets of paper and make botanical prints that will last for a very long time.