The changing leaves are the first sign that fall has officially arrived. While those gorgeous red, gold and orange petals are fun to gaze at during long drives through the countryside, fallen leaves are often a hassle for the average homeowner.
Trees provide shade in the summer and protection in the winter, but they’re shedding in the fall leads to hours of backbreaking work. The leaves seem to always win the battle, but this year it’s possible to win the war against the foliage blanketing your yard, driveway, and sidewalk.
Here are some simple ways to beat the leaves this fall that are beneficial to both you and the environment.
Make Leaf Collecting Less Back-Breaking
We all lead busy lives and raking leaves is often left to “free time” on weekends or right before the sun calls it quits on the weekday. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t check our Google Calendar. She has her own agenda and it involves quick fall showers or early morning condensation. All that water creates a heavy mess of leaves around the yard.
Wet leaves are heavy leaves. They’re difficult to rake and hard to bag. Wait until the leaves are dry before heading out to the yard with rake in hand.
Another tip if you are bagging leaves, especially if wet leaf removal is unavoidable, is to drill small holes in the bottom of your garbage can. Holes about two inches wide will reduce the suction created when trying to yank a heavy bag of leaves out of a tight garbage can. The holes will reduce the suction, and pulling the heavy bag out will be a breeze.
Yard work doesn’t have to be a massive chore and it doesn’t have to take up an entire weekend. Even if the leaves surrounding your house have been piling up since the day after Labor Day, it’s not too late to get every last leaf into a pile. The key is to have the right tools to complete every task as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Investing in a good lawnmower, edger, rake and leaf blower can make all the difference.
If you’re lucky enough to have a larger yard, consider investing in an item like the Cyclone Rake. The Cyclone Rake is the only leaf and lawn vacuum that folds up flat for easy storage and is conveniently designed to hang right on the wall of your garage. The Cyclone Rake leaf and lawn vacuum has been conquering the toughest property cleanup jobs with ease for over two decades.
If you’re going to do things the old fashioned way (just you and a trusty rake), remember little things to make the job easier. Minimize how far you move your leaves and rake them directly onto nearby beds that won’t be worked until spring. Maintain leaf piles in different parts of your yard so you won’t have to drag or carry tarps full of leaves any farther than necessary. Simple steps help save time and avoid aches and pains from overworking.
Pay Attention to Pick-up Days
Many cities and towns have curb pickup for leaf piles. This is helpful in reducing the number of bags you use, while the leaves become a problem for someone else to handle.
Here’s the problem though – you’ve piled a minivan high mountain of leaves in the street but the truck won’t be coming around for another two weeks. This gives the leaves plenty of time to blow all over the place, including back into your yard or into the street, creating a hazard for cars, joggers, and cyclists.
Check the township leaf pickup calendar and minimize the amount of time the leaves are blowing around the street. If pickup is weeks away, consider bagging and dumping the foliage a day before the trucks come around to collect.
You Don’t HAVE To Rake Leaves
According to the National Wildlife Foundation, people shouldn’t feel obligated to rake up every last leaf in the yard.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that every year approximately 33 million tons of yard waste is collected on average. Reducing the number of times you clean up leaves, brush, and branches also reduces the amount of time, energy, and resources like (trucks and recycling center machinery) devoted to collecting and disposing of the leaves.
Fallen leaves provide habitat to many creatures, and are a natural part of any ecosystem. Further, leaves on the ground are beneficial to wildlife, and your garden, and help keep the environment a little cleaner.
The war with leaves is a war of attrition. Each side continually tries to wear out the other in hopes of victory. By using these simple tips, you can win the battle and the war, at least until next year. But you will be aptly prepared to battle again.