8 handy tips for fall leaf removal.

Raking leaves in the fall with a metal rake.There’s so much to love about fall in Indiana. The beautiful leaf colors, apple orchards, hayrides, football games, pumpkin spice lattes—the list goes on. But here’s one thing that’s probably not on your list of favorite fall activities: leaf removal.

Lucky for you, we’ve put together a handy guide with a few tips on how to make this year’s leaf removal process a little less painful—and a lot more efficient.

1. Use a leaf blower. Depending on the size of your lawn, a leaf blower can help you save some time—and your lower back from all that raking. If you’re looking to purchase a blower, check out a battery-powered model instead of a gas-powered or plug-in option. Today’s battery-powered leaf blowers have plenty of juice, and you won’t have to worry about filling up a gas can or tripping over cords.

2. A good rake goes a long way. If you decide to rake, it’s worth it to spend a few extra dollars on a nice one. Not only will it last longer, it will make your job easier. Try and find rakes that are made of mostly metal and wood, and that have comfortable grips. Plastic rakes can work as long as the plastic is thick and durable.

3. Mow those leaves. Many people forget that lawn mowers can be excellent leaf removal tools. Even if you don’t have a mulching lawnmower, you can run over fallen leaves and bag them—but a mulching lawnmower will make the process faster and easier.

4. Skip the wet weather. Raking when it’s wet outside isn’t just miserable, it’s also messy and inefficient. For starters, wet leaves are much heavier than dry leaves, which makes bagging them a chore. They also can be slippery, and it’s easier to tear up your lawn and garden beds with a rake when the ground is wet.

5. Use a tarp for cleanup. Raking or blowing leaves onto a big tarp is a great way to save time when bagging. Simply put a tarp down in an area that’s already been raked or doesn’t have many fallen leaves, and rake or blow the leaves into a big pile on the tarp. This makes gathering the leaves a snap—and you can even buy custom leaf-raking tarps with elevated edges to keep leaves from blowing around.

6. Put the kids to work. Most children have excellent raking abilities. If you have kids, put those abilities to good use—then sit back, relax, and enjoy the free labor.

7. Start at the right time. You should start raking after roughly 30% of leaves have fallen off of trees. This will help ensure you get a good head start and won’t let too many leaves pile up, but it will also give you plenty to do. After your first cleanup of the season, you should plan on leaf removal once every week or two depending on the number of trees in your yard.

8. Make a compost pile. A big pile of leaves is one of the best ways to start a compost pile, because they’re full of nutrients that can help other plants grow. Be sure to add things like grass trimmings, food scraps, organic manure, and even dryer lint to your compost pile for best results.

By following these tips, your fall leaf removal should be a snap. But if you’d rather the pros handle your leaf removal as part of an ongoing landscape maintenance plan, we’d love to help. Contact us today to learn more.

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