Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | December 3, 2013

Roadside Rescue – Maple Leaves for our Garden

Most of the time when you read “roadside rescue” it’s in reference to a great piece of vintage furniture. But to me, roadside rescue can mean about anything from a trunk full of hydrangea blooms to a barrel full of maple leaves. Today my roadside rescue was 5 large bags of maple leaves for the garden. I am thrilled!

Leaf beds nice use

Our new raised beds bordered in logs are now filled with maple leaves and homemade compost mulch.

Usually we bring home my son’s 8 to 10 bags of maple leaves for our vegetable garden. But this year he has not been able to rake them up. So no leaves for the garden…not a good sign for soil enrichment and future vegetable growth.

Leaf bag close

Love these heavy-duty paper bags as they can be dried out and reused over and over.

Today on my way to yoga I saw these 5 large bags of leaves sitting innocently next to two garden bins waiting for the city of South Haven Sanitation Department to pick them up. We did a “U-turn” and I popped out and plucked them up and into our truck and whisked them away to our garden.

Dumping close bestjpeg

Gene dumping leaves onto the raised beds among remenents of melting snow from the last snowfall.

We dumped them onto my new rustic log beds and I am one happy camper!! Come spring they will help to grow some delicious and tender summer vegetables.

Gene stopping leaves jpeg

Spreading the leaves out – a real high tech method huh!

Most gals want diamond and pearls but it doesn’t take much in this simple life to make me happy, huh!

Full garden pines fence best

The view of our vegetable garden now ready and waiting for spring!

As always thanks for following!

Small House / Big Sky Donna



  1. Do the leaves break down that quickly for you? I always think they need two years to be usable otherwise they are taking more from the soil to break down than they give.

    • Christina, We have quite a lot of snow and rain here in Michigan (around 6 months of winter). I suspect that this helps the Maple Tree leaves to break down. Our Maple leaves seem to break down in a year here. By spring, they are in the “skeleton” stage and by summer mostly broken down. You could help the process along if you choose by mowing them first which chops them up into small pieces and then place on your garden or in your compost. We talk about doing it but by the time the leaves are down, raked up and in our hands the snow is on the ground so we never seem to manage the mowing stage. I haven’t experience them taking from the soil here….We have pretty sandy soil that has been amended heavily with compost and mulched with leaves and bark chips. The White Oak leaves take a long time to break down – more like 2 years. We put the White Oak leaves on our trail only (but you’ve probably already read that.)

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