Leaf Clean Up Options for your Yard

Ways to clean up leaves

The fall season is a beautiful time of year for many people who live near deciduous trees. The typical green leaves we grow comfortable with during spring and summer start to gradually change to amazing colors of red, orange, yellow, brown, and beyond. Unfortunately, this beauty is fleeting as the trees quickly shed their leaves across the landscape. Many of us are left with the reality of a yard full of leaves and hours of clean up ahead of us.

Leaf Clean Up Options

Here are a few options for you to consider for your fall leaf clean up. The method(s) people use to clean up often depends on the amount of leaves they have scattered across their yard. There is a big difference between someone having a couple of small Japanese maples to clean up after and someone with a yard full of huge oak trees that produce an enormous blanket of leaves.

  • Rake: A good old rake is a very effective way to clean up, especially if you do not have a lot of leaves to deal with. You can buy a high-quality leaf rake for about $25.00 that will last you for years. Simply rake the leaves into a pile and then place them into an appropriate disposal/compost bag.
  • Leaf Scoops: Raking up leaves into a pile is the easy part. The hard part is picking up the leaves to transfer them into a bag for disposal. Leaf scoops are an excellent way to easily pick up a large handful of leaves without dirtying your hands. Check out our article on the top leaf scoops to find a pair that will work for you.
  • Leaf Blowers: Leaf blowers are great for blowing a large quantity of leaves into a pile. They are also good for blowing out leaves from behind small bushes or within garden/flowerbed areas. The downside is that they are loud, emit pollutants and/or waste energy. Additionally, leaf blowers don’t just blow the leaves but also dust and debris that you don’t want flying around your yard. You can buy leaf blowers that suck up leaves into a bag, which might be a nice option for some people.
  • Mulch: If your leaves are not overwhelming thick, you can mulch them with your lawn mower. Scott’s recommends mowing the leaves down to a size of a dime. The mulched leaves may be noticeable at first in your lawn, but they will eventually break down into the soil to create nutrients. This is often considered the easiest option since you do not have to routinely bend down to pick up leaves.
  • Mower Bag: You can hook your bag attachment to your lawn mower. When you go over the leaves with your mower, they will chop up and transfer into the bag attachment. If you have a small lawn mower and a lot of leaves, this can be time consuming because you will have to repeatedly stop the mower to empty the full bag.
  • Call a Pro: Depending on where you live, you may have an option to have a lawn care company take care of the dirty work. Home Advisor indicates the national average for leaf clean up is $330. Assuming this figure is accurate, it is quite the price to pay. However, time is money as the saying goes.

Other Helpful Ideas

  • Tarp: A tarp can often be useful. You simply rake or blow the leaves onto the tarp and then drag the tarp to a leaf disposal location (i.e. the curb or woods).
  •  Leaf Chute: A leaf chute is designed to help create a wide opening for your leaf bag so that the leaves easily make it into the bag. Without a leaf chute, it is super easy to fumble around with the leaf bag and drop a bunch of leaves back onto the grass. Combine a leaf chute with a pair of leaf scoops and you will likely significantly reduce your leaf clean up time.
  • Gloves: Wear on decent pair of garden gloves when picking up leaves. You will avoid blisters or other injuries. You will also save your hands from touching something nasty that gets mixed in with leaves.

We hope some of these tips or ideas were useful in helping you make your leaf clean up a bit easier.