The colors of fall are beautiful, but once those leaves come off the trees, it means major clean-up for homeowners. First, we’ll talk about the importance of raking. Then we’ll share tips for making the job a little easier.
Is Raking Really Necessary?
• Well, your yard looks much better when it’s nice and clean.
• Some leaves are OK to mulch with a mower and leave on your lawn, but if leaves cover more than 20% of your lawn, clear them out. Leaving them could smother your lawn – or leave it susceptible to snow mold diseases.
6 Ways to Make this Job Easier
• Get the right equipment. Leaf blowers, used on low, can help collect bulk leaves
• Follow up with the right rake — you need a leaf rake that is wide with durable tines
• Hold the rake properly, evenly distributing your grip
• Wear gloves and a dust mask if needed
• Use a 10-by-10 tarp, or a piece of plastic to gather the leaves; this helps you easily move them across the yard
• Clear leaves from gutters, downspouts, surface drains and the roof
The Best Way to Dispose of Leaves
You have three simple options to get rid of leaves:
1. Compost them. Turn the pile of leaves once a week with a pitchfork to introduce oxygen, and keep it covered with plastic to hold in moisture and heat
2. Mulch them. Shred leaves with a string trimmer in a garbage can; spread them in landscape beds
3. Bag them. Here are easy ways to do so:
• Use a garbage can. Cut the center out of the lid, insert the bag, and place the lid on top to keep the bag in place
• Use a snow shovel for scooping – this offers more surface area and it’s more efficient
• Drill holes in the trash can to prevent suction when removing full bags