Leaf raking isn’t one of the most popular chores since many people find it tedious and time-consuming. Luckily, people have now come up with easier and creative ways of making the task easier and a lot quicker.
If you’re having a hard time keeping your backyard and lawn free from the mess of leaves, we’re here to help you. We’ve rounded up a list of 15 leaf raking hacks to make your life easier. Let’s go ahead and take a look!
1. Mulch, Don’t Rake
Mulching is an excellent way of disposing leaves and can significantly reduce its volume. Mulching is the process of grinding the leaves into tiny bits so that what you’re left with is great fertilizer that you can use in your garden. However, if you’ve got oak trees around, you might want to rake them instead. This is because oak leaves decompose a lot slower than other types of leaves.
Some lawnmowers can mulch leaves but if you’ve already got an old lawn mower and you’re on a budget, just add a serrated blade to it since that will cut down on your expenses. Wait for a dry day to mulch so that the leaves will be nice, crisp, dry and easier to mulch.
2. Use a Sheet or Tarp
It’s a common habit of many people to rake leaves right across their lawn or to pile them in one big heap. However, this is tiring and time consuming especially if you have a big lawn. Instead, lay down a medium-sized canvas or plastic tarp and rake the leaves directly onto it. When you’re done, simple fold up the tarp and dump the leaves in the trash. A tarp with handles would make things a lot simpler.
3. DO NOT Rake Wet Leaves
If you just got through a rainstorm your lawn might be a huge mess of leaves. No matter how tempting it is, don’t try raking them. Raking wet leaves makes them slimy and they’ll either clump together or stick to the ground, making your life harder.
Wet leaves are a lot heavier to deal with and you’ll have trouble bagging them. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until your lawn is dry to remove them. This can save you precious time and energy, especially if your lawn is on the bigger side.
4. Invest in a Good Quality Rake
If you’ve been using the same old rake for the past few years, you might want to drop it at your local hardware store and check out new models. A lot of new rakes come with useful features like easy-grip handles, pivoting heads and sharper tines.
Upgrading your rake to one with newer features will save you from getting a sore back and blisters on your hands. They’ll also help save a lot of your time. Although it may cost you a little more than you’re willing to spend, you’ll be thankful for it in the long run.
5. Get the Wind to Help You
You might think it a foolish idea to start raking your lawn on a windy day but you can actually take advantage of the wind. Whichever direction the wind is blowing in, make sure you rake the leaves in that direction. You’ll find the job will take much less time than it normally would. Be careful, though. Don’t blow the leaves onto someone else’s lawn!
6. Wear Gloves When Leaf Raking
Some people prefer not to wear gloves while raking leaves but they don’t seem to realize that there are a myriad of problems that can be avoided by simply wearing gardening gloves. Gloves can help you avoid getting blisters on your palms and if your rake has a metal hand, they’ll help keep your hands warm in the cold weather. Gloves will also help keep your hands clean so you won’t have dirt caked under your fingernails after you’ve finished.
7. Use a Leaf Blower
While raking your yard by hand can be fun, especially during fall, using a leaf blower can make the job a lot quicker and simpler. If you don’t have a leaf blower, make sure you do some research before you go out and buy one. You can also check out this list of the best leaf blowers on the market.
Point your leaf blower at the leaves, sending them all in one direction and once you’ve got them in one corner of your lawn, use your rake for the finishing touches.
8. Wear Proper Footwear
We already mentioned the importance of wearing gloves when raking your lawn and here’s another one that’s just as important: shoes! Make sure to wear some strong, closed-toe shoes that will protect your feet from getting hurt.
You can never tell when an insect or creepy crawlie in your yard could hide under the leaves and bite you and if you accidentally run the rake over your own feet, it won’t be a problem. You don’t have to purchase special gardening boots for this. An old pair of work boots should do the trick or practically any shoe you’ve got that’s comfortable and covers your feet.
9. Use a Yard Vacuum
One of the easiest ways of cleaning up the leaves on your lawn is by investing in a yard vacuum. While these can be a little costly, you’ll find that they save a lot of your time. Make sure to buy a yard vacuum that’s got a built-in shredder which will mince the leaves into tiny bits as the vacuum sucks them in.
This means you get to collect a lot more leaves in a lesser number of bags. Yard vacuums are really easy to use and they’re perfect for picking up leaves between bushes, under shrubs or in any place that’s hard to rake.
10. Wait for All the Leaves to Fall
If none of the above tips appeal to you and if you’re getting annoyed by having to rake your lawn regularly, save yourself the trouble and wait for all the leaves to fall first. Nothing can be more annoying than raking your lawn perfectly free of leaves only to have it all covered up again in a few hours. Save your time by waiting until the trees are bare before you begin tackling the task.
The Take Away
Now that you know some of the easiest leaf raking hacks to get the job done quickly and more efficiently, it’s time to get to work. Involve your family and friends as well and have fun!