Leave a Message

Thank you for your message. We will be in touch with you shortly.

What to Do with Leaves During the Fall

Todd Sledge September 26, 2023

Ask anyone what their favorite part about fall is, and they’ll likely mention the kaleidoscope of fall leaves. There’s just something about that breathtaking landscape of oranges, reds and yellows — especially here in Colorado.
However, those beautiful, colorful leaves eventually pile up in your yard, demanding attention. Instead of bagging them up for disposal, why not explore some creative and eco-friendly ways to make the most of this natural resource? From easy, passive actions to some more labor-intensive methods, here’s a list of things you can do with leaves in your yard this fall.
Please Note: The City of Fort Collins has a number of rules and guidelines for properly disposing of leaves in the fall. Residents must not rake or blow leaves into the street because they can clog storm drains. Additionally, burning leaves and other yard waste is not permitted within Fort Collins city limits!

Compost Them

Leaves are a fantastic addition to your compost pile. They’re rich in carbon, which balances the nitrogen-rich materials like kitchen scraps. Shred the leaves before adding them to the compost to speed up decomposition. Over time, your leaves will transform into nutrient-rich compost that can enrich your garden soil. Here is some more information about composting yard and food waste in Fort Collins.

Have Them Collected by the City

If you don’t have your own compost setup at home, don’t worry! You can sign up for curbside collection of yard trimmings with your waste hauler. The leaves and yard trimmings they collect will then be properly composted, which means you can feel good about your “waste” being put to good use! And there’s very little effort on your part. Just be sure to collect your leaves in large paper bags to reduce plastic waste.

Drop Them Off

If you’d rather get the leaves off your hands as soon as possible, you can instead drop your leaves and trimmings at one of the many drop-off locations in the area. Click here for a list of locations that will accept yard waste, including several in Fort Collins, one in Loveland, and one in Eaton.

Add Them to Your Garden Beds

Fall leaves can serve as a natural mulch to protect and insulate your garden beds during the winter. Simply spread a layer of shredded leaves around your plants to insulate the soil and regulate its temperature. This not only keeps your garden healthier but also reduces the need for commercial mulch.

Mulch Them Into the Grass

Leaves are packed with nutrients your lawn craves — so why not leave them where they are? But you can help the leaves decompose (and allow water and sun to reach your grass) by breaking them down with a mulching lawnmower. These tiny pieces will then settle into your lawn, decompose, and release nutrient-rich food for your lawn.

Create Leaf Mold

Leaf mold is a type of compost made exclusively from decomposed leaves. To create leaf mold, gather your leaves in a bin or a designated area and allow them to decompose over several months or even a year. The result is a dark, crumbly substance that works wonders for improving soil structure and water retention in your garden.

Make Leaf Art + Seasonal Decorations

Channel your inner artist by using fall leaves in your yard to create beautiful leaf art and seasonal decorations. There are several easy and fun projects you can make using dried leaves, including wreaths, place settings, garlands, wall art, and more. This not only reduces waste, but provides you with unique and beautiful artwork to display in your home all season long!

Donate Them

If you have more leaves than you can handle, consider donating them to someone else. You can connect with neighbors who need leaves using Facebook groups, Nextdoor, or ShareWaste, a platform designed to connect people who have food scraps and other organic materials with neighbors who are already composting, worm-farming or keeping farm animals. It’s a win-win: you get to dispose of your leaves sustainably while helping others enrich their soil!

Just Leave Them

Even if you don’t mulch the leaves with a lawn mower, it’s not the end of the world if you decide to just leave the leaves where they are! In fact, dried leaves can provide a critical habitat for insects and small animals through the winter, not to mention, nest-building materials for birds. So if you’re willing to tolerate a little bit of messiness in your yard, you can simply let nature run its course!

We’ll Leave You To It!

Fall leaves in your yard need not be a burden. With a little creativity and effort, you can turn this seasonal abundance into a valuable resource that benefits both your yard and the environment!

Work With Us

We believe in being a “no pressure” Real Estate Agent who will work within your time frame to achieve your real estate goals. My team of specialists and I work hard to provide the best service possible for our clients so that they will consider me not only their friend but their Real Estate Agent for life.