Leaf season will soon be upon us! Before you get frustrated or start to burn them, consider these smart solutions to eliminate and reuse those carbon rich leaves.

Mow them

No need to rake – mowing the leaves on your lawn is by far the easiest solution. The dispersed leaves gently settle into the lawn where they decompose adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil. Keep in mind that for mowing to work best, the leaves need to be finely mulched, which may require a couple of mows.

Mulch them

Leaves make excellent mulch for bare vegetable gardens and flowerbeds. To use leaves as mulch, it is best to shred first and then water to prevent them from blowing away. The moist, shredded leaves prevent weeds and eventually decompose, enriching the soil. You can also cover the leaf mulch with a thin layer of traditional mulch.

Insulate with them

Protect delicate perennials from the freeze with a blanket of insulating leaves. Wire fencing can hold the leaf insulation in place to protect your most delicate plants. As the weather warms, you can slowly remove them.

Toss them in your soil

Leaves can be shred and mixed into your top soil with a spade. This easy soil amendment creates a habitat for earthworms and other organisms.

Compost them

If you compost already, leaves made a great additional when layered with your other green yard waste. If you are very patient, you can also produce a favorite of English gardeners, leaf mold. Learn how leaf mold.