Autumn Leaf Raking Tips
Once the leaves start falling, it seems they never stop. And even if you love the fall, raking can be a real pain. Try these tips to make the job easier:
- Compost them. To avoid bagging and to recycle your leaves, buy/ make a compost bin or put them in remote areas of the yard where nature can break the leaves down into nutrient-rich material for your garden or lawn. When selecting or building a compost bin, be sure to go with the next size larger than you think you’ll need, because most likely you will need it larger, but also because the more composting material there is, the faster and better it will compost.
- Prepare your body. Exercise regularly in preparation for raking season and warm up before you begin raking. Stretch your muscles, go for a walk and treat raking as exercise — because it is. Also stay warm and hydrated, dress in layers that can be easily added or removed and don’t overexert yourself.
- Use the right technique. Pull the leaves directly toward you, without twisting as you pull. Tighten your abs to protect your back. If you bag the leaves, lift the leaves and bags using your legs, not your lower back.
- Use good tools. First, get a comfortable, light rake with a long handle so you’re not straining to lift it or bending over while you rake. You can buy bag funnels to help keep the bag open while dumping leaves into it. If you have a wooded area where you’re allowed to dump leaves, gather the leaves on a strong tarp and drag the load there.
- Keep mowing. Make sure you keep mowing your lawn late into the season so your lawn mower can help do some of the work for you. Some lawn tractors have attachments systems that suck up and bag grass clippings and the leaves with them.
- Rake before winter. Letting leaves become compacted beneath the snow all winter will make them harder to move come spring.
- Rake before it rains. Whenever possible, put in some extra raking time and try to get as much done before it’s going to rain. The added raking will be much easier than the extra time and effort of raking and collecting heavy, clumped, wet leaves.
- Take it one section at a time. Don’t rake everything in one day, especially if you have a large lawn. Divide the lawn into sections and rake one at a time — and hope the wind doesn’t work against you.
- Get some help. Our Leaf Management Program will save you time, effort and even money (when you take into consideration the time lost and potential for injury of doing it yourself!) We use professional strength leaf blowers to get the job done fast – they’re even strong enough to help deal with the onslaught of acorns we’re getting this year.