How to rake leaves doesn’t sound hard but there are ways to do it quickly and easily. What if I told you that you can greatly reduce the cleanup time?
Follow my tips for how to rake leaves fast and you’ll be back inside in no time.
Why Rake Fallen Leaves?
Yard work can be a chore, especially during the fall when you have the added problem of fallen leaves.
But do you really need to pick them up? Here, I am afraid the answer is both yes and no.
First the NO. Your lawn will be just fine if you have a lawnmower mulcher that you can run over it with. In fact, it will benefit from this. Mulching will help the leaves decompose quickly and return all the nutrients back to the soil.
Using just a lawn mower will not mulch your leaves while you mow, but does make smaller pieces that will not smother the lawn. Bring out the leaf rake only when there are too many.
As long as you do not have too many leaves, by leaving them on the ground you will be helping nature. Think of it as your own little wildlife conservation project. In winter there are various insects that love these fallen leaves.
Moths and butterflies pupa and caterpillars can be found among the leaves. Rake them up and take them away you have taken away part of the birds’ winter food supply. But, worse still, you have removed a whole generation of butterflies and moths from your garden.
Now for the YES. If you cannot, or don’t want to, mulch then I am afraid the answer is yes, you will need to rake them up. Grass that is covered with fallen leaves is deprived of sunlight, which can cause brown spots, mold, and worse.
10 Tips on How to Rake your Leaves Fast
Once you know how to rake leaves faster you’ll wonder why you never thought of it before. Dare I say it, you might even start to enjoy this household chore.
Let me explain my 10 easy tips on how to rake leaves quickly.
1. Can I Wait Until the End of Fall?
For those of you with fewer leaves, then yes, just wait until the end of fall. However, for those of you that have more leaves, you’ll need to rake the leaves.
Personally, I choose to do mine before they build up too much.
2. Be Comfortable
Believe it or not, this chore will be less time-consuming and more enjoyable when you feel comfortable.
Wear gloves and Long Pants. By wearing gloves you prevent blisters from forming and your hands getting sore. While a good pair of long pants will avoid getting bitten by any bugs and itchy from all the dust.
3. Use the Right Tool
There are many different designs of both rakes and scoops on the market. It is important to make sure you get one to suit your needs. Not so big that you struggle to handle it, but not so small that it wastes hours of your valuable time. In other words wider tine spread but one that is manageable for you.
Equally important is matching the length to your body height. This will avoid constantly bending and straining your back when you rake the leaves.
4. Rake in Rows
Before you start have a plan of how to tackle the task and know where you are going to put the leaves. One tip on how to rake leaves really fast is to work in quadrants and rows. Clear each row in each quadrant before collecting each quadrant pile into a larger pile. As long as it is not too windy of course.
With this method, you are saving yourself all the steps of constantly moving back and forth to the center of your lawn.
5. Always Rake with the Wind
Although it is always best to wait for calm weather before raking leaves. The wind can actually work in your favor. Know what direction the wind normally comes from and start from there. For example, if the usually comes from the east, start on the east side of your lawn.
This might not necessarily be where you planned to start. But, just think, if that wind picks up at least it will help instead of hinder.
Personally, I like to make fairly small leaf piles collect them up regularly. Placing them in your leaf bag or on the compost pile as you go. This way you take away the risk of them blowing away and save time by not having to rake them again.
In addition to that, you could rake the leaves onto a lightweight tarp moving it as you go. When you have finished it makes moving them to the compost heap or wherever a breeze. Make sure to use a lightweight tarp though, trust me I’ve made the mistake already.
6. Stomp on your Leaves
Unless you have an endless supply of leaf bags, stomp on the leaves every so often. Do this in the leaf bag so you are not spreading small crunchy bits all over your yard.
Simply hold up the sides of the bag with your hands and then stomp down to crush the leaves.
7. Invest in a Leaf Vacuum
If you are looking to avoid manually raking leaves, there is another fantastic tool: a leaf vacuum. A good leaf vacuum comes with a large bag attachment and mulcher.
I love using leaf vacuums because your yard ends up practically bare in a fraction of the time and your shredded leaves are transformed into organic mulch.
8. Use a Leaf Blower
You will find that some leaf blowers also have a mulching setting, but, if yours doesn’t don’t worry. You can still use it to blow all the leaves in the same direction ready for collection.
Leaf blowers come in all shapes and sizes, the cordless leaf blower is great for smaller properties. While larger gas-powered models really are the cheat for how to rake leaves really fast and are made for larger spaces with more trees.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel you have the strength in your arms as you could always opt for a backpack leaf blower.
As I mentioned before, finding the right rake and tools, makes a mountain of difference, as does choosing the right leaf blower. Please consider your circumstances before rushing out to buy one.
9. Rake before it Rains
Raking dry leaves is much easier than raking wet leaves. In addition to that raking wet leaves on wet grass may cause damage to your lawn.
10. Work Downhill where Possible
Last but not least, is to let gravity do the hard work for you by raking downhill.
People Also Ask about Raking Leaves (FAQs)
Besides my tips for how to rake leaves fast, I have a few extra tips that come in handy when the trees start shedding.
How much does it cost to rake leaves?
How much it costs to rake leaves or leaf raking service cost depends on where you live. But you can expect to pay around $120 for both the average front and back yard to be done. Some professionals may charge $10-$15 per hour or per bag.
Is it better to rake leaves wet or dry?
Raking leaves is easiest when dry. Wet leaves on a wet lawn require much more effort because the vegetation tends to stick to each other.
What happens if you don’t rake your leaves?
If you don’t rake your leaves it can be bad for your lawn by depriving the grass of air. If left too long, bare brown spots can form on the grass.
How to rake your leaves efficiently is made simple once you get the correct equipment and techniques down. Hopefully, my time-saving tips come in handy for you next fall.