Alternative Uses for Autumn Leaves

Ways to Collect and Redistribute


Now that it finally feels like fall, it makes sense that the leaves are changing color and falling from the tree. If you’re tired of all the raking and bagging, there are a few alternative uses for autumn leaves once they hit the ground.

Getting Rid of Leaves

If you don’t want to rake them, but still want to be rid of them, here are some other options:

  • Mowing. Even if you’ve stopped cutting the grass, you can use your mower with a bag attached to collect ground-up leaf debris around your yard.
  • Vacuum. Don’t go out there with your regular floor model. There are products for sucking up lawn debris like leaves, twigs, pine cones, and more.
  • Blower. Manage a wide area of fallen leaves. Blowers are more practical for larger yards.
  • Tarp. If you don’t mind having a tarp out across your lawn, place one under the tree at the beginning of the season, and roll it up once it’s full of leaves. It’s like having the leaves fall directly into a trash bag. This may end up killing the surrounding grass, so be ready to reseed if needed.
  • Art. Preserve some freshly fallen leaves for use in various fall-themed craft projects, like collages, wreaths, centerpieces, and other decor. Or use it to stuff a scarecrow or other Halloween character.

Remember to always remove leaves from your gutters to prevent clogging and causing damage. It’s also easier to remove leaves before they become wet and heavy.

Alternative Uses for Autumn Leaves

After you’ve collected all the leaves from your lawn, there are several options for what to do with them.

  • Mulch. Yes, your yard is full of free, all-natural mulch!
  • Compost. Start a compost pile by mixing leaves with grass clippings, sticks, straw, and soil. By spring you’ll have high-quality compost rich in nitrogen to use in your vegetable garden or under trees and shrubs.
  • Recycling. Donate your bagged leaves to neighbors who use mulch and compost. You can also contact your township to see if there’s a compost program you can donate leaves to.

So even if you don’t like raking, there are many options for turning autumn leaves into something useful for your home and garden.