Raking leaves can be a lot less painful if you have a plan in place before you dust off that rake. Many people ponder to rake or not to rake? Most of the time it’s just better to rake and rake it all. Little critters and bugs love to nestle in beneath the leaf cover and it can be quite the chore to get rid of the critters who’ve made a new home in the leaves. Also, huge mats of leaves can smother your lawn and make it even tougher to bring it back to life come springtime. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind to make this the best raking season ever.
1) Mulch them leaves!If your yard doesn’t have many trees and has light leaf cover, bring out the mulching lawn mower. The mower will cut those leaves up into tiny bits and can actually be good for your lawn. Once you start getting later into fall expect the leaf cover to be heavy, those heavy wet leaves can really clog up your mower. By mulching, you can put off the inevitable for a few weeks.
2) What are you going to do with all those leaves?Before you start getting into it, ask yourself, “How am I going to dispose of all these leaves?” Most towns have compost piles, free pickup, and disposal, or dumping locations. Figure out what works best for you and your neighbors. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing mounds of leaves piled up in front of the curb just waiting for a huge wind gust to disperse them all over town. It’s always best to keep those pesky leaves under wraps!
3) Pick your day.It’s always better to rake in a light rain than in a stiff breeze. Obviously partly sunny and 65 degrees would be perfect but sometimes the weather doesn’t always cooperate. But having your hard work go to waste by a stiff gust of wind can be frustrating. Check out the weather and plan accordingly.
4) Wear work gloves and find the right rake.Flat plastic rakes with a broad span are just right. Old school metal rakes dig into the ground and weigh much more than the newer plastic rakes. Those work gloves will save you from some painful blisters, picking up daddy long legs won’t be such big deal, and if you have a dog… yeah… dog doo-doo.
5) Invest in a tarp.Those blue work tarps will work just fine. Usually the smaller the tarp the easier and lighter it is to work with. Lay it flat on the ground next to your pile and start to load the leaves onto it. Make a “Mother Nature Burrito” and transport it to where it needs to go whether it’s in a big brown leaf bag or a compost pile, the tarp is almost as important as your rake!
6) Leaf blower?They are great for getting leaves out of delicate places, like around landscaping, heavy gravel, stone, mulch, etc. Make sure you use a light touch and don’t get too carried away with the trigger or you could have mulch all over your yard as well as leaves.
7) QuadrantsVisualize your yard into different sections and move around your yard creating many smaller piles instead of dragging leaves into one huge pile in the middle of your lawn. Unless of course, you have kids that need to jump into something massive…keep working on an area until all of the leaves have been raked up. Go around the yard with your tarp and rake up the smaller piles. You’ll be able to notice your progress and it will be less tedious than raking into a huge pile and dispersing that huge pile.
Any which way you look at it, it’s always nice to be outside getting some fresh air and exercise. Don’t forget to take breaks frequently and keep hydrated! It may be a bit cooler out but you’re still working up a sweat. Good luck and happy raking!
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