We all ask ourselves every year… what are we going to do with all of those leaves? We love the fall colours but then dread once the leaves start to fall. 

Organic fertilizer – Leaves are a great source of organic fertilizer, something that most people don’t think about when they are all over the lawn as a reminder of the potential hours of yard work that needs to be done. The funny part about this is that those same people would buy organic fertilizer from the garden centre. Why? because it is already in a bag, seems a little silly doesn’t it…

Mulch – If you want some great mulch for your garden you can run over a layer of the dried leaves with your lawn mower, collect them and spread them on your perennial garden.

Composting Project – Some municipalities take part in a composting project, reach out to your community to see if that is something that they do before you throw bags of leaves to the curb.

Insulation – Leaves can be used to insulate some of your more fragile plants, such as your vegetable garden or planters you have outside. Use chicken wire and some scrap wood to create a barrier around what you want to insulate, and then fill it with leaves. This will help protect the plants form some of the elements during the winter, and then in the spring you can rake up the leaves and put them in the compost.

Candle Holders – Leaves can be a great part of your DIY projects. You can use mason jars as the candle holder, collect some leaves you like from your garden, and then use a watered down craft glue to soak the leaves and stick them on the jars. When they are dry they will create a great layer of colour for the candlelight to shine through.

Leaf Art – Next time your outside staring at the leaves on your lawn go out and find some of your favourites. Take those leaves and iron them between sheets of wax paper. After that you can mount them on mate board and frame them. They can then become part of your reason decor… Love this one to be honest. 

Leaf Centre Piece – To do this you will have to collect some leaves. Blow up a ballon to whatever size you want, then get some craft glue and water it down. After that soak the leaves in the glue and stick them to the balloon ( you will want the balloon to be tie up) this process will take patience as the leaves will take a bit of time to stick, and the balloon wont want to stay still. You can decide to cover most of the balloon, or just a little. You can make a bowl shaped piece by covering the bottom of the balloon, what shape you want and how deep the bowel will be will depend on how much you cover. Once its dry, pop the balloon…

Or just make a massive leave pile and have your kids jump in them 🙂

Leave a comment below if you have any great things you do with your leaves…

16 thoughts on “What To Do With Your Garden Leaves

  1. Hello and thanks for sharing, it is so amazing to that after leaves have fallen from a tree they can still serve a purpose. It is good to see the many uses that you can get from leaves. Your readers will love these ideas and the good part is that these ideas can save a whole lot of money. Thanks again for sharing.

    1. I love to find ways to reuse things instead of just tossing them away as waste. I also like that a lot of these ideas can be something the family can do together. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air 🙂

  2. Thansk for highlighting some of the many wonderful uses for every day garden leaves.

    You’re right, sometimes we look at them and see them as another chore to add to our list but actually they have great uses. Leaves for compost, absolutely!

    I never thought of the candle holder idea but I think they look fantastic! Perfect timing for Halloween too! You’ve given me food for thought! Thank you!

    1. Everything seems like more work when we look at it as a chore. I like to find fun and creative things to do with chores like this to make it more enjoyable… I know we are in the beginning of the spring and summer reason, but come fall I hope you get to do some new things with your garden leaves..

  3. I never thought about using spare grass leaves as insulation. I’ve heard about compost and mulch of course but this could be really in protecting your plants from the windy and wet weather during autumn and winter (maybe less so). Thanks for the great idea, I’ll make sure to make use of it and keep my eye out for your site for more ideas.

    1. Thats really great to hear. The potential for reuse of your backyard leaves is amazing. Insolation is one of my favourite applications, the winter months can be so tough on our plants.

  4. I love this, i have some big trees in my yard and every year i dread the fall and all the leaves to clean up. My son is getting to an age where he like to get involved with things, thank you for the inspiration, I will be getting the family involved in some fun with the garden leaves.

    1. Thats so great, outdoor family time is such a great thing. Please let me know how all the fun went and what you guys did with the leaves… Halloween is a great time to take advantage of them too for decorations and things… But it is still summer so we will save that talk for another day 🙂

  5. I’m someone who’s keen on practicing the 4Rs [Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover] and when I saw the post title, I was like, “I got this, garden leaves can be used as a fertilizer, mulch, compost,insulation” and then I saw candle holders. Wow, you just blew my mind! Interesting post. I’m certainly going to test my DIY skills with Candle Holders.

    1. Im big on the 4R’s as well. And there is nothing better then a good DIY project. Im happy you enjoyed this post. Thank you for your comment 🙂 I really hope you get to try the candle holders. Let me know if you do, and how they turn out. 

  6. I mulch up my leaves every year… It’s great for the gardens and also for my compost.. If you have a lot of trees I would recommend you trying this this year. Saves you a lot of time trying to bag and then pull the leaves out tone curb for garbage day

    1. Mulching the leaves is ones of my go to projects in the winter, it has been a great insulator for my garden and has protected it from some of the harshest winters, and in the summer it mixes will into the soil for some extra nutrients.

      The kids also love to play in them so I usually let them do that first before I grind them up.

  7. A sharp and sweet and helpful little article. We have a large lawn which gets covered in leaves during the autumn months. We mow over them and then stash the churned up grass and leaf mixture in a corner of the yard. Never thought to dig this into the garden !

    1. Thankyou so much for taking time to offer some feed back. I find the fall leaves can feel like such a choir for most. I’m a big fan of trying to find different ways to make things fun and exciting. I have used the mulched leaves on my garden a few times and it’s been really good for my plants. Thanks again for sharing 🙂 

  8. Was searching for homemade craft ideas when I came across your post. Leaf art is something I never tried before and wondered why I never thought about it. They could make beautiful bookmarks or decorative for scrapbooks.

    The candle holder idea is particularly charming. It would make a great center piece for a simple yet romantic dinner. Thanks for the suggestions. Now, I have better appreciation for all the fallen leaves.

    1. Hi Cathy thankyou for sharing. I love your ideas of using them for scrap booking. Scrap booking is such a popular thing and adding some natural elements would really add some life to the pages. 

      I have used leaves to make bowels and players before for table setting as well, they can be a bit messy but fun to make too. I’m happy to hear I got some more creative juices going. 

      Thanks for stopping by… 

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