The leaves are just beginning to change color as autumn begins, and you know what that means: they're about to start falling. You've probably already done your fair share of raking in your lifetime, but we've compiled a few essential commandments to help you expedite the process. Without further ado, we give you the rules of leaf-raking:
- Use a mulching mower at the beginning of the season to shred your leaves and opt out of picking them up.
- Don't start raking immediately come October. The leaves are going to keep falling all season long, and starting too early will ultimately add unnecessary work to your pile (pun intended).
- Use the shredded leaves as mulch. Once too many leaves have fallen to push back actually raking any longer, consider saving your leaves, shredding them, and using them to fertilize your yard.
- Rake in the direction of the wind. Not only will this save you from the massive headache of breeze-blown piles, it will make the raking process less strenuous on your body.
- Wear long pants. Even if it's not cold enough outside to merit needing the warmth, they will protect you from the many bugs that are crawling through the discarded leaves.
- Buy an ergonomic rake. This will make your efforts more efficient and help you avoid the shoulder and back pain that usually accompanies a day of raking.
- Don't rake the leaves out from under your trees and bushes when tackling your yard. The leaves will protect them from the cold come winter.
- Rake leaves onto a tarp instead of attempting to pick up the file and transfer it to a trash bag. This will ensure no stray leaves blow away and save you a great deal of time.
- Wear gloves. They will keep away the aforementioned bugs as well as any stray dust or dirt.
- Store your rake where you can easily access it. Keeping it hung on your wall mount storage system will make any raking touch-ups a breeze all season long.
The keys to efficient leaf-raking are exerting effort where effort is due and preparing your lawn for the colder months to the best of your ability. Getting started too early in the season will only create extra work, and throwing away the nutrient-rich leaves wastes a valuable opportunity to give your yard a little TLC.