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The Beautiful Fall Season is here! 5 Sustainable things to do with fall leaves

Fall season is my favorite of all. I love the way leaves transform their color.

How beautiful it is!

I can look to this view all day long and still would not get tired. Every fall I and my husband plan to go to Catskills, NY since it is not very far from our place and we love to spend some time at this beautiful scenic view.

This time when I was there as usual it was beautiful and heavenly. That view always brings peace and smile. When we were hiking, I looked at the fallen leaves and thought that what would happen of these leaves?

Shouldn’t there be a way to use these for any purpose since nothing is actually a waste!

L'Aquila Active - Nothing is waste

After that I started researching regarding this that how actually can we use this beautiful nature’s fall. Leaves are fall’s most plentiful crop which could be used for so many purposes.

Although another secret reason for fall love is new clothing and accessories, fall collection at various stores and online. However, I try not to over stuff to much as I try to be sustainable and not get impacted with tempting fast fashion.

There are few fun facts I found in my research and thinking of using this fall.

  1. Leaf Mold – Leaves are carbon rich ingredient best for compost pile. It helps keeping soil moist which is very beneficial for plants.
        L'Aquila Active - Blog Leaf mold
       The four easy steps to make leaf mold –
  • First step is to rake your leaves and collect them in big piles. The best way is to collect them in some kind of cylindrical bin so that it doesn’t blew away in case of wind.
  • Before putting in bin if possible, try to shred the leaves because smaller pieces of leaves decompose faster.
  • After shredding put the leaves in the bin without over stuffing otherwise air circulation would not be possible. Wet leaves gives the best result.
  • After piling them wait till spring when they are completely thaw. Then they are ready to be spread on vegetable and flowers.
       Leaf mold is very beneficial for farming since it holds moisture by reducing evaporation plus it also absorbs rainwater which is again beneficial in hot weathers.
      2. Leaf Mulch – Just like leaf mold, leaf mulch also keeps soil moisture along with improving soil fertility, keeping soil according to weather conditions and preventing weed growth.
       While using mulch it is very beneficial if you shred it first since that would form an airy cushion therefore letting water and air settle in and through. Spread 2-3 layers of them around trees and gardens.
      L'Aquila Active - Leaf Mulch
       3. Used to Cover Tender Plants and Vegetables – Fall leaves could prove very helpful in covering vegetables/ fruits just like covering them in newspapers or saw dust. It could last throughout winters. Dry leaves could be used to layer around them.

 

      4. Soil Amendments – Mix the shredded or normal leaves into the garden making sure that they are in contact with the soil and you will be able to see the magic in next spring. Next Spring, you would see earthworms and other essential organisms in your garden soil.

 

       5.Decorating with Fall Leaves – This is my favorite part. This is the part which I already find myself related to. I love collecting fall leaves and using them for several decoration purposes.
 
       L'Aquila Active - Decoration leaf
  1. Collect few fall leaves and iron them in between wax sheets. This will help in retaining the color and shape of leaves for longer time. I love to use these to decorate my house every holiday season and keep it for as long as it could last. I love the fragrance that I can keep around me even when the season is off.

      2. You could also preserve them with the help of Silica Gel. Place around one inch of gel in container (microwaveable dish), then place leaves in dish keeping in mind not to touch leaves with each other or the sides of dish. After that let leaves be dipped in silica gel and microwave dish for around 2 minutes at medium temperature.

      3. Preserving with Glycerin –

         L'Aquila Active - Fall Decoration protection

        Glycerin is a great preservative in order to preserve small branches. Cut                leafy small branches and keep them stand in warm water for 2 hours by keeping away from direct sunlight. Then boil one part of glycerin to two parts of water. Simmer it for 5-10 minutes. After the solution cools down, remove stems and keep branches in the solution again avoiding from direct sunlight.

        Once you start seeing dew at the leaves it means that leaves have absorbed  all the solution they can. Take out and wipe off leaves. Hang them upside down in order to dry.

 

Don’ts while using the Fall Leaves –

  1. There are some kinds of leaves that if used would prove to be a mistake. Leaves of walnut, camphor laurel and eucalyptus prevent the plant growth. The best way to use these is by composting these leaves before using them.

 

  1. If you are using shredded leaves into the soil, keep in mind to use some slow release nitrogen fertilizers as well. It would help the leaves to decompose and confirms that soil doesn’t use all of the available nitrogen.

 

  1. For best results try to shred and then use leaves else it would be difficult for air and water to penetrate through thus not keeping soil moisture.

 

We are blessed with so many things on this wonderful planet which we could use for thousands of days to day purposes. All these natural things have given us so many chances to be sustainable and organic. By using these leaves as composite to farming we could avoid the use of so many chemicals that the farmers and gardeners have started using. Our small actions could bring such a great change in our ecosystem, all we need to do is take some responsibility.

 

https://www.thespruce.com/things-to-do-with-fall-leaves-1402480

https://www.organicauthority.com/live-grow/how-to-use-fall-leaves-to-benefit-your-garden

https://savvygardening.com/12-creative-ways-to-use-your-fall-leaves/

https://www.almanac.com/news/home-health/natural-living/what-do-fall-leaves

https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/put-fall-leaves-to-work/5402.html

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