Chemistry Secrets: Unique Ways to Use Fall Leaves

Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet
by Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet
Chemistry Secrets Unique Ways to Use Fall Leaves

Fall leaves are my favorite part of autumn. What better way to take advantage of the season than with these unique ways to use fall leaves??

Instead of bagging up all those leaves or tossing them away, take advantage of these beauties in a fun way.

The chemistry in one leaf is very intricate and amazing, making it useful for many neat things around the home.

Unique Ways to Use Fall Leaves

Unique Ways To Use Fall Leaves Around The Home Instead of Throwing Them Away

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Chemistry Inside Autumn Leaves

Fallen autumn leaves have many chemicals, a major one being carbon. Dead leaves are an excellent source of carbon which is beneficial to many things around your garden.

As leaves change colors from green to yellow, reds, or oranges, they develop other pigments like Beta-carotene which is responsible for the deep orange. Red leaves develop anthocyanin which causes the deep red pigmentation. This amazing article on American Forests goes into detail on the color changing process of a fall leaf.

It is fascinating how leaves change colors in the fall, and interesting to know what why this happens. For more details on the chemistry in leaves, check out this great graphic from Compound Interest.

Fall Foliage Prediction:

I also discovered this incredible website, SmokyMountains.Com. The fall leaf map is intuitive and easy to use. When you visit the page, you will see a slider at the bottom. The slider will be set to the current week. You can slide the slider to the right to see the predicted progression of fall. The green indicates the trees in that area of the country have not begun to change colors. The brown color means that the leaves are past their peak. The remaining colors show a colorful depiction of the progression of fall.

If you plant on doing any travel to see fall leaves, this map will come in handy! They gave me permission to share it with you below:

So, let’s look at some neat, unique ways to use fall leaves around your home.

Add them to Flower Beds

In this post we did about fall lawn care, I mentioned you can add all those leaves you rake to flower beds.

Fall leaves are a great mulch option this time of year. Shred the leaves (make sure they are dry) with your hands then spread around your flower beds. After you spread them out, you can lightly water to keep them in place. Just make sure not to use wet leaves in the beginning because it can suffocate plants. Dried leaves are nice and airy.

If you are worried about heavy freezes for certain plants, add shredded leaves around the root base. Water lightly to keep in place.

Add to Compost

If you have a compost bin or make your own compost, adding fall leaves is a great way to add carbon to your compost.

You always want to make sure to layer with green ingredients, like grass clippings. Here is a great guide on building compost with dead leaves.

Make Air Freshener

Yep! You can pick some of those beautiful fall leaves with a delicious fall scent, and add the to this homemade air freshener. I like to use mulberry leaves since those are always around my areas, but you can use any fall leaves that have a nice autumn scent.

I love this air freshener for fall because it has all the perfect fall scents you can gather around your home! So easy to make too.

Create an Autumn Stovetop Potpourri

You can also just leave a delicious smelling fall potpourri on the stove.

Make a Center Piece

My favorite thing to do in the fall is cut down red oak leaves before they fall and use the branches for a center piece. My mom and I did this one Thanksgiving, and it made the table SO pretty! Now, we love doing it all during the fall.

You can get really creative with this and make huge center pieces with large branches too. Adding in some pumpkins to the table makes a perfect center piece.

Fall Crafts

The last fun thing you can do with fall leaves around your home is some fun fall crafting! It is amazing how you can take those excess autumn leaves from your yard and create a pretty craft. Thi sis great option for your kids too!

There are so many neat things you can do with leaves. Here are a few of my favorites:

So, now you can enjoy fall this year even more by putting all those fall leaves to use. There are so many unique ways to use fall leaves!



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Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet
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