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Fall Leaves! Uses?

 
master steward
Posts: 4382
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1331
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When we lived where there were trees with beautiful fall colors, one of our pastimes was taking drives to just look at the fall leaves. I loved taking those drives in the country to look at all the pretty colors.

As the days begin to get shorter and shorter, it is time for all the different colors that the leaves have turned.



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I used to live where the scenery was much like that picture.

When the leaves start turning into those pretty colors, it is a sign that the leaves will start to fall. I loved raking up the leaves and so did my kids:



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My kids would always ask me "What are we going to do with all these leaves?"  Back then we lived in the city and I had never heard of permaculture.

These are some things that leaves can be used to get rid of them instead of sending them to a landfill.

I love putting the leaves around plants since this helps with weeding.

My favorite thing to do with leaves is to make leaf mold. All that needs to be done to make this is to find an empty corner in your yard and just pile all the leaves there and forget about the leaves until mother nature turns the leaves into leaf mold.

 



If more garden beds are planned for the future, the leaves could be piled there to just compost. Adding a green layer of vegetable scraps and grass clippings would also benefit from heating things up.

What are some neat ways you have found to use your fall leaves?



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Here are some threads all about leaf mold:

https://permies.com/t/125311/leaf-mold-awesome

https://permies.com/t/13602/Incredible-Amazing-Leaf-Mold

https://permies.com/t/23615/leaf-mold-fungi

https://permies.com/t/83710/leaves-leaf-mold-ready-mulch

https://permies.com/t/93143/cubic-feet-leaves-create-cuft

https://permies.com/t/137584/Fungi-Leaf-Mold
 
pollinator
Posts: 165
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
94
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Great post! This time of year, I get a little crazy when we go places and see all the bags of leaves at the curb in garbage bags. Leaves aren't trash! So we rescue as many as we can. It's these that we use. The ones that fall in our yard, we leave where they land.
We use the bags full of leaves to insulate our water tank. We just stack them up around it like bricks. Then when spring arrives, we empty them out anywhere we need some mulch. It's usually half way to leaf mold by then. We use lots of the rescued leaves to mulch our garlic and other plants that need it. Any bare soil gets a blanket of leaves, as do areas we want to improve the soil. I usually save the extra colorful bags of leaves for the top layer of mulch, that way I get to enjoy their beauty in addition to all the lovely things they do for the soil and wildlife! The birds love hanging out in the areas we dump leaves, searching for bugs.
The empty bags are a great resource too.
Hoping in the future to use the bags of rescued leaves in our chicken coop and run, kinda like this:


 
Heather Sharpe
pollinator
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Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
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I haven't tried this, but definitely an intriguing idea...
 
pollinator
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I'm wondering could you grow potatoes directly out off the bag? Just stick some in maybe with a shovel of soil, then when the spuds are ready you tip the bag and get spuds and composted leaves
 
master steward
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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This past year I took sprouted potatoes and set the on slightly disturbed pasture (I scratched the surface with two fingers before setting the potato down).  Then I covered them with a foot of leaves that had been in the roadside ditch since the previous fall.  I got a tolerable crop of potatoes from it.  Not as good as from the garden but the pasture plants were smothered and I got some spuds.
Sprouted-purple-potatoes.jpg
Sprouted purple potatoes
Sprouted purple potatoes
Let-s-put-them-here-.jpg
Let's put them here!
Let's put them here!
Hey-it-made-more-potatoes-.jpg
Hey, it made more potatoes!
Hey, it made more potatoes!
 
pioneer
Posts: 74
Location: Douglas County, WI zone 4a 105 acres
13
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OMG -USES OF BAGS OF LEAVES?? Holding down tarps over manure piles/black plastic bed covering in the winter; extending my garden paths/bed surrounds over cardboard (weed-eating is a waste of energy); adding to compost pile in Summer - alternating with kitchen scraps and "greens"; putting in chicken run for winter; worm bedding, though I haven't done this yet - I have to "save" worms when I pick up the bags! The stored bags are even improving the soil by shading out weeds and giving worms protection.
TIPS: When picking up from private homes in town, I'm always careful to be sure bags are in the proper place for "waste-management" pick up, and I'm always respectful of walking on their grass. etc. In our county, waste company posts dates of collection on-line.
Also, I try to lay the bags down at my place, with the openings toward the ground so they don't get filled with rain/snow - many are "degradable", but this practice will help. I also save the heavy-duty bags.
Best wishes to all in collecting this wonderful, FREE resource.
 
Posts: 32
Location: CA . 3000 ft elevation, mostly southwestern slope , zone 9a
16
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We have a few exterior water faucets around the property that don't get drained in the winter. I fill 7 gallon buckets with leaves and put them over the faucets , then make a pile of leaves over the bucket to insulate the faucets.

The leaves in the garden area go to the compost.

But the majority of leaves I rake up go to bird run. I call the birds my mini mulching crew. I pile leaves at the top of the run and pull some really nice manure enriched oak leaf muclh from the bottom. Our run naturally funnels into a spot at the bottom where I have a section of fence thats easily removable. I get 3 to 4 yards of mulch every couple months. The piles of leaves also provide stimulation for the birds. They always sound happy when there a fresh pile of leaves.
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