As the leaves fall with the cooler temperatures, resist the temptation to get out and rake them up. Fall leaves are not only beautiful, but useful as well. Let them remain on your lawn and (with a mulching mower) simply grind them up as you mow the lawn this fall. The fine particles will make their way down to the crown of the grass, where the nutrients in the leaves will be available to the lawn, and is some of the best pet friendly lawn fertilizer too.
The only caution is, don’t let several inches of leaves accumulate before the mulching process. To be effective, the depth of leaves on the lawn should not be over an inch each time this is done.
Another great use for leaves is to use them as a winter protectant around the base of plants like roses etc. This step will help protect them from freeze damage. The leaves will begin to decompose and can be moved to the compost pile in the spring.