Cleaning up fall leaves is a task that many people put off, but if you wait until you can no longer clearly see your lawn, then cleaning up and raking leaves becomes a major job.
Of course, the best way to clean up leaves in a yard is to find the most comfortable and efficient way. Just a few of the things I cover are, making a quick plan, wearing the right clothes, and choosing the best leaf removal equipment for your needs.
Below I provide some tips for finding the best ways to clean up leaves in small and large yards.
Best Way to Clean Up Leaves (Like a Pro)
Although fallen leaves may look beautiful, they can clog gutters, block drains, and damage your lawn. If you live in an area where there are lots of trees, you might find yourself spending hours each week cleaning up after the fall season.
Regardless of the size of your yard, easy cleanup of fallen leaves is possible. Follow these tips on how to clean up leaves in your yard and you’ll be finished in less time with less work.
1. Wear the Right Clothes
Although clothing may not be the first thing on your mind, it is the first thing I ask people think about. You’ll be surprised how much faster and easier a task becomes when suitable clothing is worn. Ok, I hear you all saying ‘but I am only going to rake leaves’, please trust me on this one.
By wearing long well-fitting pants and closed shoes you avoid the problem of twigs and other debris becoming annoying, or even causing injuries to your feet and legs.
And, it goes without saying, you should always wear protective gloves. When your hands are protected you naturally work faster.
2. Make a Plan
Starting with a plan of action is the best way to clean up leaves in a large yard, especially one with a lot of surrounding trees. Don’t worry, nothing elaborate is required. Below I have listed just a few factors to think about before you start to rake leaves.
- What tools are you planning to use? Have them close by and ready to use
- Check the weather forecast, raking wet leaves can be hard work and impossible on a windy day
- Work out where the best place to start and finish is
- If you have regular winds, make a note of which way the prevailing wind blows and rake in that direction (if the wind suddenly blows it will help not hinder)
- Whether raking leaves or using a leaf blower is it easier to make leaf piles or use a plastic tarp that you can carry or drag to the compost pile
- Don’t forget to have bags at the ready (if you plan on bagging of course)
These are all little things that can make quick work of leaf cleanup.
3. Use the Right Tools for the Right Job
By having the best leaf removal equipment you can cut down your work time quite considerably. Remember, the right rake or leaf blower for one person is necessarily the right one for you. Be sure to choose the right leaf removal equipment for your needs.
Here are some of the most popular tools that are available for clearing your yard and lawn of leaves.
Designed specifically to remove leaves, a good leaf rake will be lightweight have an ergonomic handle and wide fan shape. Even if you prefer to use a leaf vacuum or blower, you may still need a leaf rake as it is the perfect tool for gathering stray leaves.
Although similar to the leaf rakes, a shrub rake has a narrower head and shorter claws. These rakes are specifically designed to get into areas underneath shrubbery and between flower beds without damaging plants or the grass.
As the name suggests, this rake is the smallest of all garden rakes. It is held in one hand and is perfect for gardening. Using it, you can get in between plants in beds or under shrubs.
Mulching leaves is a great idea. Leaves can be mulched by hand, but this is slow and tedious. A leaf vacuum does the job quickly and efficiently, mulching the leaves as they pass into the collection bag. Once mulched the leaves take up far less room when bagging, will compost faster, and make great leaf mold.
The leaf vacuum is especially good when you have lots of hard-to-reach spaces under trees and bushes. These are also available as a walk-behind power vacuum which is even more efficient.
A mulching mower works just like a lawnmower except it mulches the leaves as you mow. For those of you with large lawns, this has to be the easiest way to deal with all those autumn leaves.
Although you can use a standard lawnmower, however, you will need to pass over the leaves a couple of times to achieve anywhere near the same results. If the grass does not require cutting, then raise the rotating blade.
As the name suggests leaf blowers enable you to blow leaves and debris into piles or onto a tarp. For smaller yards, the cordless leaf blower gives freedom of movement and allows you to get into those nooks and crannies. But, remember always choose a leaf blower size that is comfortable for your build and strength.
4. Know When its Best to Leave Leaves
Is there really a time when leaving the leaves where they fall is the best? Yes, leaving autumn leaves on flower beds to compost will act as a natural fertilizer. Just don’t leave them in such numbers that they completely cover any plants.
On the other hand, though, removing leaves from flower beds should be done in the spring. This will allow the spring sunshine to warm the soil and let the plants know it will soon be time to burst into flower once again.
Don’t leave them to build up and try to clear if rain is forecast, dry leaves are much easier to clear.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
I hope this blog has answered any questions you may have had and feel that leaf removal can be a simple chore. Now I will answer just a few more questions that often get asked about leave removal.
What is the fastest way to clean up your yard?
Using a leaf blower is probably the most efficient and fastest way to clear fallen leaves. A good leaf blower allows you to gather leaves onto a large tarp or into piles with the least effort and quickest result.
What happens if you don’t clean up leaves?
If you don’t clean up leaves, and you have a lot, you are at risk of attracting pests and having mold or fungi grow. Because of lack of air and sunlight, you may also find you have brown patches develop on your lawn.
Do dead leaves help plants grow?
Leaving dead leaves can help your plants grow by supplying them with nutrients as they compost. They also act as a natural mulch that helps keep weeds at bay, prevent soil erosion. Mulch also helps retain moisture, which means your plants will stay healthier and happier.
Remember raking leaves and using leaf blowers is an essential task that needs to be done. Prepare yourself with a plan, the best tools, and approach in such a way that it becomes less bothersome this year.