Leaves are falling and though they may be beautiful now with their vibrant colors, they won’t look so great piled up in the yard. Experts say you should remove the leaves at least twice during the fall to be sure they are not hurting your lawn. Make no mistake, it is work! There is no way getting around it but making it a family activity can serve to lessen the load as well as provide quality time together. Below are four essential tools to get the job done before winter sets in.
- Rigid leaf rake. This plastic, fan-shaped rake is your go-to rake for collecting leaves. Pick one with a cushion handle and a 30- to 36-inch fan. Avoid the super-wide fans that can spread to 48 inches; they’re too big to rake between shrubs and in flower beds. Cost: $10-$20 (30-inch fan).
- Leaf tarp. Instead of scooping leaves into a million plastic bags, rake or blow them into a big pile on top of a polypropylene leaf tarp. Then drag the tarp to the curb and dump. Cost: $22 for 12.5-by-10-ft. tarp.
- Leaf blower. Select a two-cycle, gasoline-powered blower to collect leaves in tarps or blow them directly to the curb. If you have a large yard, buy a backpack model, which is more expensive but more comfortable than handheld blowers. Cost: 2-cycle handheld blower: $180; 2-cycle backpack blower: $300.
- Yard vacuum. This tool vacuums, shreds, chips, and bags leaves and other yard debris. Once leaves are ground up, they’ll decompose quickly in your compost pile. Cost: $400-$650.