Rake your loose leaves to the curb no earlier than November 10, 2023 for pick up starting November 13 until November 24.

Using leaves as mulch or fertilizer in your yard is less work for you, better for the environment, and saves you money.

Mulch leaves into your lawn and garden

Thick layers of whole leaves can kill grass, but mulched leaves break down quickly. They add nutrients to the soil and help keep weeds from coming back in the spring. Use your lawnmower to shred leaves into small pieces and they will disappear right into the lawn. Many beneficial insects and wildlife use leaves as protection for the winter.

  • Mow leaves right on the lawn into small pieces.
  • Keep mowing about once a week until leaves finish falling.
  • Use shredded leaves as mulch in your garden and under trees and shrubs.
  • Rake whole leaves directly into your garden beds, plants will be able to poke through in the spring.

Protect plants over winter

When the ground is frozen, pile leaves around your plants to insulate the roots over winter. Snow may come and go, and leaves can help protect your plants during periods of freezing and thawing. Remove the leaves in the spring and add them to your composter or mulch them into your lawn.

Keep hardy vegetables growing through winter

In the fall, use a heavy layer of shredded leaves to cover hardy vegetables like turnips, carrots, leeks, kale or beets. You can extend the growing season and maybe even harvest these vegetables all winter.

Use leaves in your backyard composter

Keep leaves near your composter to mix with your food scraps. An even mix of nitrogen-rich food scraps (green) and carbon-rich materials like leaves (brown) prevents odours and pests, and helps your composter work quickly.

Learn more about backyard composting 

Compost leaves for fertilizer

Choose a spot protected from wind or make a chicken wire cage for your leaves. In just a year, your pile will break down a lot. Dig to the bottom of the pile for all-natural fertilizer.

Create a new garden bed

Rake a thick layer of leaves to a spot where you want to start a new garden the next spring. Let them sit over the winter and then plant your new garden over them in the spring.

Rake leaves to the curb for pickup

Collection of loose leaves usually starts around the middle of November. It’s unsafe to put your leaves on the road too early. Keep loose leaves up on the curb until your collection week begins. Putting leaves on the road too early blocks sightlines for cars, prevents cyclists from using bike lanes and can block storm drains. Learn when loose leaf collection starts by downloading the Guelph Waste App or using the Waste Wizard to sign up for notifications.

Ways to manage yard waste