Easiest Way To Pick Up Leaves

Different Ways To Pick Up Leaves

Fall colors sure look great on the trees. Canopies become stunning displays of orange, red and yellows, a stark contrast from the lush green summer months. But while they look great on the trees, once the leaves have fallen onto your lawn, they can quickly turn it into a mess, and not only that but they can damage your garden.

So, if you are keen to keep your yard healthy through the winter so that it thrives next spring, you will be looking for time efficient and affordable ways to pick up fallen leaves. In that case, you are in the right place. We are going to discuss different methods you can use to collect up unwanted leaves and what you can do with them after.

Equipment You Will Need

Generally, it is good to have a small range of tools that you will use regularly and can use in combination together to get the best results. There are benefits to many different tools, but few will tick absolutely all of the boxes.

As far as we are concerned, when considering collecting picking up fallen leaves from your garden, the best option is to use a leaf blower, which can tackle the hardest part of the work for you and get the job done quicker. Alongside your leaf blower, you can use a handheld rake to get the few that get left behind, and a tarp or garden bag to collect the leaves in after. By having this combination at your fingertips, you will save a great deal of time, effort and in the long run, money. Let’s look at these options in closer detail.

Back Pack Leaf Blowers

Leaf Blower

You can get leaf blowers in various different sizes, starting at small, handheld versions, but unless you are just looking for one to service small, raised flower beds, then we suggest you go for a backpack model. This larger version has considerable stronger output capabilities and can help shift your unwanted leaves much quicker. The small, handheld leaf blowers, on the other hand, are not nearly as powerful, and you will spend your day walking around your garden, bent over if you are using it to target leaves on the ground.

Leaf blowers are great for removing leaves from lawns, flower beds and even in hard-to-reach areas such as rockeries and between shrubs, unlike other tools such as rakes.

They can be mains-powered, which is more suitable for smaller areas, and they also come in battery or gasoline-powered models, which are more suitable for larger yards and areas that are further away from electrical power sources. If you are concerned about not having battery life for long enough, you can usually buy spare batteries that you can swap in and out as you go, but most will give you around 40 minutes of power, which should enable you to complete a considerable portion of your yard. Some even have a vacuum function which can such and even mulch some leaves.

Leaf Rake

Rake

A leaf rake is a cheap, important and lightweight addition to your tool shed. Whether you are using it for clearing leaves or spreading grass seeds, it is a worthwhile tool to have. However, if you are solely using a leaf rake to pick up leaves, then you will be at for a long time, and it will require a lot of your energy.

Leaf rakes won’t help you get in amongst the rockery, and they can easily get stuck between shrubs, but what they are good for is getting the last few stragglers after you have used a leaf blower. Even with the best leaf blower in the world, you are likely to miss a few, or a breeze or gust of wind will shift a few out of the piles. Therefore, a leaf rake can help you with the finishing touches and is handy to have around for maintaining that clear lawn once you have got rid of the bulk of the fallen leaves.

Tarpaulin

Tarpaulin

No matter which method you use to gather your unwanted fallen leaves, the most time efficient way of collecting them for disposal is to use a tarp. You can get tarps in various sizes, and most will have eyelets on their corners, so you can tie them up, meaning leaf transportation is easier and less messy.

To use a tarp, you can lay it out on the ground. Pin it to the ground through the corner eyelets if it is windy, although a windy day isn’t the best choice when getting rid of leaves – you’ll be fighting a losing battle! You can direct your leaves so that the piles form on the tarp, and once there you can shake them into the middle so that they are more secure. If you have a large law to clear, then as you progress you can drag the tarp along with you.

Once you are done collecting the leaves on your tarpaulin, you can gather it up and tie it using the eyelets through the corner and then throw it in your trunk to take it to a waste facility or take it over to a compost heap to empty the leaves. The wildlife in your garden and the nearby area will thank you for saving the unwanted leaves in a composter rather than removing them, as a compost heap provides an entire ecosystem with habitat and plenty of nutrients.

Dead leaves are high in carbon, so they make great compost, but they break down slowly, and if you leave them to decompose on your lawn, they will kill it through blocking sunlight, water, and nutrients sooner than they will break down. However, putting them in a compost bin or heap to decompose will give you great fertilizer later in the year and next. To speed up the process, mulch the leaves down before you compost them.

Other Options

If you don’t want to spend anything more on garden equipment for a while, then another option is to use your lawn mower to suck up the leaves. Set it to the shortest grass-cutting setting and watch as it sucks up the leaves as you go. If you have a mulching model, it will even tear it up ready for composting, and the collection basket at the back makes it easy for you to transport and dispose of the collected fragments of leaf.

While this is a cost saving method and effective method of picking up leaves, it is not without its risks. Setting your lawn mower to the lowest setting can risk damage to your lawn, and if the ground is soft, the wheels can churn up mud even if there isn’t surface water.

Leaf Blower vs Raking

As I have mentioned before, it isn’t necessarily an either/or decision. You can use both a leaf blower and a rake together to get the most out of both tools. But with a bit of practice, using a leaf blower will certainly save you a lot of time and hassle, and you can use a rake to touch up the leftover bits to get the perfect finish in your yard that you want. Here are some benefits of both:

Leaf Blower

  • Good for clearing large spaces
  • Good for getting into tight, awkward spaces
  • Good for getting leaves onto a tarp for collection
  • Twice as fast as using rake alone
  • Efficiently clears snow
  • Easily clears out the gutter

Rake

  • Good for clearing smaller areas
  • Quiet
  • Lightweight

Safety Considerations

No matter what method you are considering for collecting up your unwanted leaves, you will want to consider how to operate safely. Wear appropriate attire to prevent yourself from injury, for example:

  • Sturdy boots – as we mentioned before, leaves can be slippery, and some leaf blowers may be heavy. Wear sturdy boots with good grip to prevent slips and keep your feet protected.
  • Gloves – it may not just be leaves you are gathering up – thorns, prickles and spikes can easily get caught up in leaves. Wear resilient, waterproof gloves to protect your hands.
  • Eye protection – wind from leaf blowers is strong and can cause all sorts of debris to fly. Plus being heads down concentrating on leaves you may not see low lying branches!
  • Ear protection –if you choose a louder model or if you are tackling a larger area which takes a lot of time, it is a good idea to wear ear protection to protect your hearing.

It is also worth considering your posture while you are clearing away leaves. Tackling even a small area of ground covered with leaves can mean you are hunched over, putting a strain on your back. Try to stay upright, without stooping your back at all, and if you must bend down, use your knees instead of your back.

Conclusion

You should now have a better understanding of the best way to pick up leaves from your garden. We believe that the best method is to combine the use of an effective leaf blower, a handheld leaf rake, and a tarpaulin. You can read more about our leaf blowers reviews of what we consider to be the best models available. Our guide can help you see the benefits of many different models so that you can choose the one which will suit you best.

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