Best Way to Deal with Leaves in the Fall
Autumn, with its mild weather and beautiful colors, is a favorite season for many of us. Those breezy afternoons, speckled with collages of crunchy leaves, can feel both calming and invigorating.
On the other hand, all that foliage collecting in your yard and driveway can become quite a mess. As pretty as it may be for a short time, you certainly don’t want to leave it to get soggy in the next rainstorm.
Additionally, if you’ve got a robust bed of grass that tends to stay green far into the cooler seasons, a blanket of leaves will deprive it of sunlight. While tending to fallen leaves doesn’t need to be a daily task, it is definitely something you want to do regularly- and correctly.
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Here are a few tips on the best way to deal with leaves in the fall:
Come Up With An Effective Plan
It is important that you develop an effective plan before you begin the cleanup. You’ll want to factor in how you plan to dispose of the leaves, how long you imagine it might take, and what materials you need.
Do you have a sturdy rake? A set of garden gloves? A sufficient number of heavy-duty trash bags? If you plan to mulch them, do you have access to a lawn mower with a bag attachment? If it’s going to take a few hours, what is a good day for it? These are all worthy questions to ask yourself before you get going.
Starting the cleanup early in the season is beneficial for a couple of reasons. First off, if you have mature trees that shed their leaves the entire season, you want to stay a step ahead and not let it accumulate. Second, if you’re facing a sizable job already, starting early allows you to split the workload in manageable portions.
Speaking of mulching, don’t forget about this helpful time-saver: for a thinner blanket of leaves, you can quickly address the mess by mowing over them and leaving them to settle into the topsoil. You only need a mower with a bag if you are planning to redistribute the leaf mulch in other areas of your yard.
Make Use Of Power Equipment
You can use a leaf blower to reduce the amount of time and energy you expel on the cleanup. You can find ones that are gas powered, battery powered, or electric, depending on which is convenient for you.
This is how you use a leaf blower in your clean up:
- Before you begin blowing the leaves, ensure you check the direction of the wind.
- After a storm, it is important to wait until leaves are dry before using the leaf blower. Wet leaves are generally too heavy for this method, unless you are using a high-powered machine. Generally, a large pile of soggy leaves simply needs to be thrown out in order to avoid mold and algae.
- Instead of blowing the leaves across the yard, blow them into small piles.
Use The Correct Rake
If your yard does not require a leaf blower, a sturdy rake will do the job just fine. For basic cleanup, a rake with plastic teeth will do just fine. However, if you plan to use it as a “scoop” for gathering large piles into the trash bag, a metal rake will hold the weight more effectively.
Short, brisk strokes will catch more leaves than a lengthy pull across your lawn. Just like with a leaf blower, creating several small piles is more efficient than trying to gather an entire yard full of leaves into one great big mountain!
As much as the kiddos (or even dog- or even you??) may want to create a massive pile to jump into, keep in mind the risk of pests. Fleas and ticks can accumulate in dry foliage, so be on the lookout!
Fall leaf cleanup can be a fun way to enjoy the brisk air and get some exercise while caring for your lawn. For additional guidance on seasonal lawn care projects, check out Tips For Lawn Care in Autumn.