Outdoors Reviews

How to Simplify Fall Leaves Cleanup

We got our first snowfall last week and it was a harsh reminder that winter is on its way. If you haven’t cleaned up your yard this fall, now is the time to do so before the white stuff sticks around for a few months.

Autumn leaves may be colorful, but they can cause a problem if left on the lawns over winter!

first-snowfall

Apple pie, pumpkins, and blooming crocuses are symbols of autumn. But nothing signals the arrival of fall more than the millions upon millions of chromatic leaves that begin to cascade from the trees as the temperature dips.

Many people feel nothing is more beautiful than the yellow, red, purple and orange leaves that coat our neighborhoods and countrysides each autumn. I agree the sight is breathtaking and soul stirring. But in spite of their beauty, leaves might be a nuisance to homeowners charged with removing the endless piles from their yard.

Trees are sensitive to temperature, and as the days begin to grow shorter and colder, it triggers a hormone release which cues them to drop their leaves. If the fallen leaves are left untouched during the autumn and winter, they can contribute to lawn problems such as poor aeration, mold growth, and moisture issues. Leaves also can cause staining on driveways and sidewalks. Prompt removal can help prevent any of these problems. To make your leaf removal work easier and faster, here are a few tips.

raking-leaves

maple-leafMow over thin leaf coverage. If only a few leaves have fallen, use a mulching mower to shred the leaves until they are small enough that they won’t suffocate the lawn. These tiny pieces will decompose naturally in the lawn, and reintroduce nutrients as a result.

maple-leafIf you have bunches of leaves like I do, then raking smarter is the key. Use an ergonomic leaf rake. Ergonomic rakes are lightweight, easy to handle and prevent strain on your back and arms.

maple-leafInvest in a good quality leaf blower. Using a rake is good exercise, but homeowners with large properties might want to use a leaf blower. These powerful machines can dislodge leaves from bushes and hard to reach areas. Plus the work faster than a rake.

maple-leafUse a tarp or bag them. Rake and blow your gathered leaves onto a tarp and then drag the tarp to the back of a truck for proper and considerate disposal. Please do not blow them onto the curbside for other people to deal with. We stuff our leaves into garbage bags and dispose of them.

maple-leafWork with the wind. Rake in the direction the wind is blowing and downhill if your property slopes. We live in a very windy area, so most days we have to contend with a breeze. Working with Mother Nature is always the best.

maple-leafGet the kids involved. If you have a big yard, it can be a daunting task. Give the kids a rake and have fun. Leave clean up is an ongoing job during October, so spread out the work. Do a little every weekend so you can continue to collect the new fallen leaves.

52 Comments

  • Great tips! We’re surrounded by woods but thankfully don’t have any trees close enough to have the leaves fall on our property and those that the wind blows into the yard are easily raked up.

  • Well, as much as I have been tired of living in a forest partly because I have Lyme disease and the ticks are everywhere and I have a hard time vegetable gardening because of the lack of sun, I can say getting rid of our leaves is fairly easy for us. My husband just mows over them and then uses a blower, no need to bag them they are just pushed into the more forested areas around our home.

  • oh my gosh! you already got your first snow fall? we haven’t yet. Still some leaves on those trees. My husband has raked up the leaves twice now and looks like he’s gotta do it one more time…. maybe two

  • We have a very large yard and right now it’s covered in leaves, but hubby usually just mulches them with the mower and then still using the mower blows them all in one spot, hes pretty good at doing the leaves with just the lawn tractor

  • Great tips! We mostly have pine and spruce trees ut get all our neighbors leaves so we have a leaf blower that mulches and are on them right away.

  • With all the rain that’s been hitting my area we won’t be doing anything with the leaves because snow will hit next. I hated the reminder of snow from your top picture

  • I do what is also suggested in the post. I gather up the kids and we make piles of leaves to see who can make the biggest one. When they’re all raked up it is a much easier job for me.

  • Fall – a time when we experience and appreciate the colours of reds, oranges and yellows. A time of harvest and Halloween and most importantly, we are reminded to be grateful each day for our daily gifts received from our Heavenly Father.

  • We mow our leaves just as you listed. This year though, we had snow at the beginning of Oct. and the leaves are on the top of the snow. They will have to stay until next year. We got several feet of snow!

  • If I were in charge of everything I would have Leaf Drop Day when they all came down at once. Anybody want to vote for me?

  • Awesome Fall Tips! We have a weekend for raking and cleaning up for the Fall holidays…..the family is rewarded by having a cookout with family and friends. A little bit of motivation never hurts….lol thanks

  • I’m lucky living in an apartment in the country. I get to look at all the pretty stuff and they hire someone in for the cleanup.

  • I love raking leaves, however, I just completed the job in the pouring rain which wasn’t quite as delightful. There were simply too many of them getting the sidewalk all slippery.

  • We don’t have leaves, but I didn’t know they could cause such problems. I just thought my dad raked because they could catch fire so easily.

  • I’m so lucky I really don’t have too many leaves there’s an oak on one of the neighbors and a maple behind us but the leave situation is under control.

  • What great tips! I love raking leaves into big piles for my kids to jump in before putting them in the garden to compost down.

  • Working with the wind is very important! Lol we raked up about 20 bags of leaves off my mom’s property at her trailer! Thank God we had some help from my son and daughter! There’s no way my mom could have done that all by herself! !

  • We’ve had so much wind this fall that most of the leaves on the trees blew along the side of our house. I plan on getting compost leaf bags and raking them up and putting them in the bag. We have a rake like you illustrated and it is great for raking.l

  • Ya know? I’ve always thought the opposite, that leaving the leaves would be protective and nourishing.. good points here, never thought about mold. Maybe I was just looking for an excuse! haha.

  • I love the fall and these are awesome tips but our house is now surrounded with pine trees and cedars.We used to have some big maple trees but the Ice Storm of 1998 took them down….sob.Oh
    well the up side to that story is we don’t have any leaves to rake! 🙂

  • These are amazing tips. We have so many dang leaves in our front yard I could scream. The kids like to rake them and jump into them but recently they have become really gross as the neighbours cat keeps going the bathroom around there.

  • Thank you for oosting aome great tips. I like to rake leaves in the fall. Our city goes around and does the fear collection. However, I wish they would do leaf collection later in the fall. They do it so early in the fall the trees are still almost completely full.

  • This is my favourite time of the year ! 🙂 I love racking the leaves and making a big pile to watch my two kids jump into them 🙂

Leave a Comment