6 things to do with autumn leaves for a great lawn

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Autumn leaves are beautiful, with their deep colors making it look as if trees have been...

Autumn leaves are beautiful, with their deep colors making it look as if trees have been painted by a master. They don't, however, look so great when piled up on the lawn around your Atlanta home. Consider using one of these easy ways to get rid of fallen leaves.

  1. Mulch. Mulching is an eco-friendly way to get rid of leaves. Instead of raking leaves into piles, mow the lawn as you normally do to chop the leaves into mulch. If your mower has a bag, set it to shoot the chopped up leaves right into the bag. You could also rake up the leaf bits and use a wheelbarrow or sturdy bag to carry the mulch to your flowerbeds or garden.

  2. Burn. Burning gets rid of leaves for good, and it's pretty easy. You just light the leaf pile on fire and watch it smolder until leaves are gone. However, it is not eco-friendly, leaves messy ashes and is not allowed everywhere. Check with local law enforcement officials and your homeowner's association before burning.

  3. Compost. If you're a gardener, you know the value of rich, organic soil. You can get more organic soil by tossing your fallen leaves in a compost heap and letting nature take its course. If you have room for a compost heap or bin, this is a great, eco-friendly way to get rid of leaves.

  4. Kindling. Dried leaves catch fire easily, so if you have a fireplace and room to store lots of dried leaves, you might benefit from saving some leaves to use. Just toss some leaves in the fireplace under the kindling wood when starting your fire. Also, make sure the flue is wide open, as leaves tend to smoke a bit if you use them before they are completely dry.

  5. Fall yard art. If you are bagging up your leaves to be hauled away, consider getting some fun out them first by making them into lawn art. To go simple, get some of those large decorated trash bags that look like pumpkins, fill them, and set them around the yard. To do something more complicated, use black trash bags and black painted swimming noodles to make a giant black lawn spider. Then, just send the bags away with your refuse service or have your Atlanta landscaper take them away at the season's end.

  6. Outdoor animal bedding. Dried autumn leaves can make inexpensive, organic bedding. Check the Internet or ask your landscaper to make sure the leaves from your trees are not toxic to animals before using this method. This is not recommended for pets. It works for livestock animals that mess up bedding that gets quickly shoveled away anyway, such as chickens.

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