If you live in a part of the world where you can experience the changing seasons, it can bring about some majestic scenery. As the leaves from the trees change color in the transition from summer to fall, you’re treated to splashes of red, oranges, and yellows. However once those leaves hit the ground, they can become quite a mess in your yard.
Although it may seem like an annoying chore, cleaning up your leaves is a necessity, especially if you live in a close neighborhood. You don’t want to be the unpopular neighbor who lets their leaf situation get out of hand, only to have it blow around to the rest of the houses on the block when the wind picks up.
This said, there is a case for taking a stand and not raking your leaves, as some experts say that it’s better for the environment to keep the dead foliage out of landfills, according to USA Today. Plus, a layer of leaves can help to keep your lawn covered over the winter, and if you cut up the dry leaves with your lawnmower, it can turn them into a nutrient-rich mulch for your lawn or garden.
But if the trees on your property have overrun your lawn with discarded leaves, and you need to rake them, before you grab your trusty rake and get to work, take a look at a few tips and tricks that could make raking up those leaves a breeze.
Rake smarter not harder
To make your next raking chore easier and more efficient, it’s all in the technique so that you don’t over-exert yourself. The first raking tip we have is to make sure you’re using a rake that has a long enough handle so that you don’t have to constantly bend over, which could cause some unnecessary wear and tear on your back. Keep your posture upright, bend with your knees, avoid twisting your lower back, and make sure to take plenty of breaks when raking, according to Spine Universe.
To make the raking job more efficient, use the elements to your advantage. If it’s a little windy, then rake with the breeze so that it can blow the foliage where you want (like a natural leaf blower). If you have a yard with natural slopes, then rake the leaves going downhill to save energy. To ensure you aren’t bending over too much to pick up your finished pile, try raking your leaves onto a tarp or drop sheet. That way you can pick up the mess in one go or easily transport it to your compost.
Another raking tip is to use a rake that has a larger face so that each swipe gets the most leaves possible, per Popular Mechanics. Make certain you’re pulling the rake toward you in a smooth motion and don’t twist with your back. Finally, if you can’t finish the job in one day, here’s a tip: walk on the leaves to flatten them to better ensure they don’t blow away until you’re ready to come back to the chore.