You’ll agree with me:
Leaves just look glorious when they are still on the trees.
And you know the real nightmare begins when they’re scattered in drifts all over your yard. A large yard. Might have you just signed heavily BUT mood up, I’m here to help.
Breeze through your seasonal demanding task with the following tips:
Consider The Right Tool
What’s your plan to clean up leaves in your yard?
Choosing a good rake and a big bag?
Well, I won’t tell this traditional method is not working anymore now. It’s still. But the fact that raking leaves – in a big yard – is time-taking and takes a lot of manual labor. I would say the method is very ideal for guys who enjoy this quintessential fall activity or tight-budget homeowners and have plenty of free time.
Take note that if you choose this tool to reignite your childhood nostalgia or want to let your kids enjoy their outdoor activity in the back yard, using a tarp would make it easier and more joyful.
This additional “tool” is arguably more effective than using boxes because aiming a little bag opening and collecting the fall leaves is still time- and effort-taking.
Not to say that if leaves are wet, the boxes will get wet as well, which is prone to tear up at any time.
When choosing a tarp, consider one that’s made of heavy-duty and sturdy material to be hardly blown up by the wind.
But for folks whose weekend is already fully packed, you might be looking for a quick, effortless alternative. And I would like to introduce to you two secret “weapons”.
The first one is (drum roll, please) a leaf blower.
It’s a common gardening tool powered by either gasoline or electric motors to propel air out of a long nozzle to blow leaves, grass cuttings, or other debris. During my man-vs-machine rake-off, a handheld leaf blower is 2x faster than a rake.
Not to say that by the time you finish raking, your lower back won’t be on fire as that doing with a rake.
But take note that leaf blowers are a noisy tool. If you have sensitive ears, consider wearing ear protection or choosing an ultra-quiet leaf blower.
When considering the best leaf blower, also keep an eye on its weight and blowing power. There are two common types of leaf blowers at the current – the wheeled and the handheld.
The wheeled blowers are more effortless to use, it’s quite bulky, especially when moving around a large area with multiple obstacles. Meanwhile, the handheld is maneuver but higher-capacity models are commonly heavy, which strains down your shoulders and makes it painful.
The second device to consider is a mower.
The idea here is to think of fall leaves as garden gold. I mean semi-rotting leaves or leaf mold is high nutrition for the soil, which boosts your large lawn to grow healthier. You can take advantage of that as a good, FREE mulch to maintain your big yard.
But why do I have to mower the leaves?
You need a mower to shred all leaves into small pieces and there are two reasons for that:
First, although both shredded and unshredded leaves are able to be decomposed over time, unshredded leaves tend to mat together and create a dense layer on the soil’s surface, preventing water to pass through. And of course, that’s not what we’re looking for.
Second, the combination of dry leaves and green grass clippings will result in an actively decomposing pile, which helps to speed up the whole process.
The ideal condition to using this method is all leaves are scattered throughout the yard.
A mower is literally what you need to do this simple task.
Just an ordinary mower and raise its blade to the highest settings. Or, if you can afford a mulching mower, all the better.
Take note that the leaves must be dry when shredding but after mulching, you should moisten them to avoid the wind blowing them away.
Should I Burn The Leaves?
Although this seems to be the simplest method to deal with the huge quantity of leaves, it’s illegal in some regions. It’s because leaf burning (in a big quantity) is risky to a huge fire hazard. You’ll never know where a light wind can spread the flames to.
Not to say that the smoke caused by leaf burning is quite frustrating to the others. It might cause lungs and eyes irritation or pollutants to harm the environment.
What To Consider Before Cleaning Up Leaves?
You should choose a day when it’s still, cool, and dry.
But if it’s going to rain (due to the weather forecast), you’d better clean up everything or at least, pile the leaves in place and well cover them before it starts. If you don’t know, leaves are very heavy and hard to rake when they get wet.
If gusts keep blowing for the entire day, you should delay it to another day but with a gentle wind, the task is still possible to complete.
My tips are raking/blowing in the same direction that the wind is blowing.
While cleaning-up leaves are not dangerous, it’s still a dirty task that would kick up numerous pollen and dust. For that reason, I still advise you to wear some necessary gear, especially if you’re suffering allergy, eczema, or asthma.
Face masks and gloves are two merely must-have gears to have. If you use a leaf blower, consider using ear protection as well to save your ears from the loud noise.
That’s all for this article. Thanks for reading and good luck!