Tired of Fall Leaves? Put Them to Work in Your Garden

As Fall gets into full swing, it’s time to add raking around your outdoor condenser unit to your list of yard maintenance chores. But as you clean up your yard, remember that falling leaves aren’t only beautiful, they’re also useful for preparing your garden for winter and spring. So don’t throw those leaves in the trash can.

Start with Raking

Raking is one of the most common yard maintenance tasks. But if you don’t know how to do it right, you may end up with scattered leaves and a sore back. Here are some tips for how to rake up leaves:
  • Make sure you have a leaf rake. You can use tools such as a shovel or trowel, but they won’t be as effective as a leaf rake.
  • Start at the top of your yard and work your way down. This will help prevent clumping and allow you to put all the leaves in one area before moving on to the next section.
  • Don’t put pressure on your back by bending over too far when raking up leaves. Instead, stay upright, with good posture and balance, so that only your arms are doing the work — not your back!
  • Clearing leaves from your condenser is good HVAC maintenance. Debris buildup can block airflow, resulting in inefficient operation and reduced cooling.

Compost Your Leaves

Making a compost heap from fallen leaves is easy and an excellent activity for the kids.
Gather all the leaves you can and spread them out in a single layer on a tarp (or an old blanket or sheet). Next, cover them with another layer of leaves or straw and keep adding layers until you reach the size of compost pile you want.
To maintain your compost heap, ensure you water well every time you add more material. Then, keep turning the heap every week until it’s ready to use.

Have a Go at Making Leaf Mold

Leaf mold is a simple mix of fallen leaves and air. It’s a quick and easy way to add organic matter to your garden’s soil. Leaf mold is one of the easiest things you can make for your garden. It doesn’t require any special tools or even a large space. All you need is some leaves and a spot where they can decompose without getting blown away by the wind.
Making leaf mold requires two steps – collecting leaves and turning them into compost. This process will take several months, but it’s very low maintenance. You don’t need to water the leaves or turn them over like you do with compost piles. And because it’s an aerobic process (meaning that oxygen is present), there’s no need for turning or watering either!

Make Mulch

Leaves are a natural mulch and make an excellent addition to your garden or landscape. They’re easy to get, free of charge, and easy to work with.
The secret to great mulch is chopping up the leaves as small as possible. Then, once you’ve chopped the leaves, scatter them over your flower beds and around the trunks of trees and plants. It will stop the soil from washing away and add a layer of insulation to protect perennials.

Nourish Your Lawn with Leaves

If you don’t have a leaf blower, you may be tempted to rake the leaves into piles and wait for them to decompose. But raking is time-consuming and can damage your lawn.
Mowing is a better option. You can mow over the leaves in one pass or mow and then mulch them with a mulching mower. If you want to keep your yard clean, it’s best to mow as soon as possible after the leaves drop. If you wait too long, the leaves will dry out and become harder to chop up.

Create Some Fun Leaf Art

There are few things more beautiful than a pile of autumn leaves. The colors, the shapes, and the textures — they’re all unique.
You can make your own leaf art by arranging them into patterns and designs or using them to create a collage. It’s easy, fun, and a great way to spend an afternoon with kids!
  • Make a leaf collage. Spread some sheets of newspaper on your work surface and have your kids glue down the leaves in various positions and arrangements. Use bits of twigs or other small objects to fill in any spaces they create when they place their leaves.
  • Make leaf prints. Have your kids paint leaves before pressing them onto white paper or cardboard.
  • Create nature art. Arrange leaves on construction paper in various ways, then add paint or markers to create artistic scenes representing nature.
Speak to the professionals at Moore Home Services about regular HVAC maintenance. Our heating experts are here to keep your Santa Rosa home cozy this winter.