Adventures in Leaf Raking

All of those leaves are all going to hit the ground eventually. It happens every fall. Here are some ideas that we like to call: The lazy person’s guide to leaf raking. Feel free to use any or all of these tips. They are in no particular order.

  • Create less work for yourself by starting with small areas and using small sweeping motions.

    Start by clearing the smallest area necessary. First, concentrate your efforts on the walkways. That way, no one is bringing leaves into the house. Wait to rake the entire yard until the branches are completely bare. You will have to rake less often, and you’ll save hours of hard work.

  • Harness the wind. Use nature’s power to your advantage by raking the leaves in the same direction as the wind is blowing.
  • Update your tools. Replace that old metal rake with the bent tines with a new push-power lawn sweeper or – better yet – a motorized lawn vacuum. Some of these are even self-propelled, but of course you still have to steer.
  • Stay inside if it’s been raining. Go easy on your back. Dry leaves are lighter than wet ones. Watch the game and wait for the sun to do its work.
  • Mow instead of raking. If you have a mulching lawn mower, that feature works well for cutting up leaves. Mow first. Rake second. You’ll have less to pick up.
  • Use smaller sweeps. One long, sweeping motion will trap fewer leaves than a couple of shorter sweeps.
  • Girl and boy throwing up leaves in park

    Make this seasonal chore more fun by bringing the kids out to play!

    Use a tarp instead of a wheelbarrow. Save yourself from bending to fill the wheelbarrow by raking all of the leaves onto the tarp. It will be light enough to drag wherever you need to go. If you want to take a break, turn in the corners to cover and protect the pile from the wind.

  • Wear your most comfortable long-sleeved shirt and pants, and a pair of gloves. “I enjoy getting scratched by twigs and bitten by insects,” said no one, ever. Protect yourself, so you won’t have to spend time tending to wounds and bites once you come back inside.

Got kids? Invite them to stomp on the leaf piles as you create them. Their laughter will make the raking more fun. And compressing the piles will help keep the leaves from blowing off, so you can finish the job even quicker.