Fallen leaves

The beautiful fall leaves

A leaf solution for after the leaves in are in the yard.

The leaves are nice to look at while they change colors on the trees.  And they are even fun to play in initially when the fall.  But what do you do with them at the end of fall as winter sets in?  This article is going to give you several ideas for good leaf solutions.

The first problem that fall leaves will present is the issue of filling up the gutters on the house.  This can cause water to back up in the gutter and if doesn't rip the spouting off the house or drain out, it could become a huge ice cube if a cold winter sets in.  Many people at the end of fall, after most or all of the leaves are down, get the ladder out and clean the gutters.  Another solution for that problem would be to invest in some sort of guard for the spouting, like Gutter Topper.

A short term leaf solution would be to do nothing, in the hopes that the wind will carry the leaves away.  This technique will work, but has several drawbacks from a homeowners perspective.  This is afterall the way mother nature makes top soil.  The yard grass may not fair the best in the spring if they are still covered with a layer of leaves, although the protection would probably help over the winter.  It probably will not inamore you with the neighbors if they've cleaned up their leaves and yours just blow into their yard.

About the worst leaf solution would be to bag them up and send them out with the garbage.  Most households generate enough waste as it is without adding natures waste to it.  Don't fill the landfills up with a valuable natural resourse likes leaves, let mother nature turn them back into soil.

Some communities have leaf pick up which is a nice leaf solution.  The challenge here can be getting them out to the curb so the big vacuum truck can come by and vacuum them up.  Raking the leaves unto a tarp and dragging that to the curb can reduce the number of trips, as long as you don't fill the tarp too full.

Rather than give all that valuable future top soil to the town, you can always compost them yourself.  Simply find an out of the way place to pile them up, if you put a fence around it, so much the better.  You can then add all sorts of kitchen scraps and other yard waste to increase the pile.  To hurry the process along you could run the leaves through a leaf shredder to make the pile much small and speed up the composting process.

If you don't really have an option and need to bag the leaves up a leaf shredder will also make the bags much smaller, and heavier.  If you do bag them but don't want to send them out with the garbage try to find someone that would like to compost them.  Maybe post an add on Craigslist or Freecycle.  Doubt you can actually sell them, but you would at least know they weren't going into a landfill.  Of course if you have to pay per bag for garbage collection there could be some money savings there.

A leaf solution that involves compost the leaves is the best solution.  Simply sending them out with the trash isn't really a good solution.