If you have the room in your backyard, consider creating a compost pile from the leaves you rake up during the fall. This natural compost pile can be used as fertilizer in the spring for your various lawn and garden projects. This is a natural source
of fertilizer and a way to save a few dollars for the next year on gardening costs.
How to create a compost pile of leaves
Run your lawn mower over the leaves to cut them up in smaller pieces. By carefully running your lawn mover over the leaves, this will help them be more effective as compost. Rake or blow the crushed leaves into a pile. Once the leaves start turning brown, you will be ready to bag them or move the to a central location. You may consider bagging some of the leaves as there may be too many leaves to get the composting process to work. So a step by step process will work for the compost to take hold. If you do have to bag the leaves, every couple of days you can remove leaves from the bag and add them to the compost pile. The leaves will break down and then you can continuously add more to break down and this will act as great fertilizer.
Mix the existing soil with the leaves as well as other organic food waste which you can add to the compost pile periodically. It is usually a good mix of carbon and nitrogen materials that make good compost. If you have too many leaves, you can still build a leaf pile and mix in a layer of dirt between the leaves to help break down the process. For more information on the chemistry of the composting process, view this video.