How to Use Oak Leaves As Grass Fertilizer


Leaves of all types, including oak leaves, make excellent mulch, helping protect your lawn as well as retaining valuable moisture. They also make great fertilizer, slowly releasing nutrients such as nitrogen as they decompose. It is a misconception that oak leaves shouldn't be used as fertilizer due to their tannins. According to the Missouri Cooperative Extension, acid is not a concern with leaf mulches because they sit on top of the soil.

Step 1

Rake the oak leaves into a pile off of the grass. Place them in a container if conditions are windy.

Step 2

Wait for the leaves to dry out, if necessary. If the leaves are still fairly green or excessively heavy from recent rain or snow, wait a day or two for them to dry to make them easier to mulch.

Step 3

Run the oak leaves through the mulcher, collecting the resulting mulch or chopped leaves as they come out the other side of the mulcher.

Step 4

Spread the mulched leaves evenly across the lawn, no more than 1/2-inch thick.

Step 5

Water the lawn to dampen the leaves and keep them in place.

Step 6

Spread the leaves out evenly again, as necessary, if they bunch up in piles before decomposing.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not let the unmulched leaves sit on the lawn for more than a day or two or they could begin to smother the grass blades.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Mulcher


  • Missouri Extension Office: Can oak leaves be used as mulch?
  • Happy Housekeeping: Using fall leaves to fertilize your lawn
  • Terry Ettinger Horticulture Consulting: Leaves aren't trash
Keywords: use oak leaves as grass fertilizer, fertilizing grass with oak leaves, oak leaf mulch for fertilizing grass

About this Author

Carlye Jones is a journalist, freelance writer, photographer and novelist, with more than 15 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, interior decorating, photography, gardening and traveling. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites, such as Matador Travel. Carlye received her training at Northern Arizona University.