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Now that's it's fall, it's time to start raking leaves and sacking them up ... or should you?

Sure you can burn piles of leaves (if it's legal in your state) or you can sack them up to haul them away, but why not put them to better use for your garden, lawn and environment? 
Compost Your Leaves
If you have a garden then consider composting your leaves this fall for a better summer garden next year. The "brown" leaves are a great source of high-carbon material for compost piles. If you already have a compost pile, it's as easy as adding layers of leaves to your already composting pile (such as vegetable and fruit scraps, plants, weeds) and let it compost over winter. 
If you don't currently have a compost pile, you can easy build one with some wooden stakes and mesh wire. Check out our How To blog about composting here
Mulch

After you've gathered your pile of leaves, you can shred them and use them as mulch in vegetable gardens, flower beds, under shrubs or for smaller plants. How do you shred leaves? Well, you can sack up your leaves, and have kids jumps on the pile until it shrinks, put them all in a garbage can and use a week wacker (please make sure to wear eye protection) or mow over them. 
Grow Potatoes

After you have gathered your leaves, you can pick a sunny spot in your garden or yard to prepare for a potato garden. This might be one of the best, easiest things to do with your leaves. Just pile them up about 3 feet high. By springtime, your pile should be a nice rich patch of compost. Pick out the potato seeds you prefer, plant and cover. In a couple of weeks, you should have a new potato garden. 
For more information, click here. 
Mow Over Your Leaves
If you don't want to rake up your leaves then why not mow over them? Simple put your lawn mower on the highest setting, mow over the leaves to break them up, and let them break down over the winter. This will not only provide your soil with great nutrients, it will also result in fewer weeds next spring. Just do this once a week and you've helped your soil and the environment. 

Author

Maegan Clark

Maegan Clark loves social media even more than Southern sweet tea. She is currently pursuing her master’s in public administration and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a specialized study in public relations. Since working at Heifer, she has deepened her appreciation for the urgency with which we must end global hunger and poverty.