Raking leaves in the autumn can be a really big pain sometimes. It’s not a job that most people like to do, but it’s important to do it when you don’t want your yard to appear to be a huge mess.
You might need to rake the leaves every so often during the fall or else things will get out of control. It’ll be even worse if you wind up having many months’ worth of wet leaves on your lawn due to ignoring the situation for too long.
Some people hate raking leaves simply because the bagging process is a hassle. Bagging leaves the traditional way might even drive you nuts because it can be quite slow.
Is there a better way to bag leaves that can help you to speed things up? What are the different approaches that you can choose from?
Below, you’ll be able to find information about the best way to bag leaves. You’ll learn about different ways that people go about it as well as how to rake your lawn efficiently.
Once you’ve learned about the process, it should be a lot easier to take care of your lawn during the autumn months. You won’t be so intimidated by the leaves and your yard will look nice instead of being messy.
Is Removing the Leaves From the Lawn Truly Necessary?
You might have seen some of your neighbors’ lawns and noticed that they aren’t raking the leaves up. Some people do choose to just ignore fallen leaves and they don’t bother messing with them.
Is this a viable choice if you don’t feel like taking the time to rake and bag the leaves? Well, it’s really up to you to decide what you want to do on your property, but it isn’t necessarily the best idea to ignore fallen leaves.
If you allow fallen leaves to continue to pile up in your yard, then your lawn will be negatively impacted. Eventually, your lawn might be smothered completely under the weight of the leaves that have fallen during the autumn months.
There’s a chance that your lawn might die in certain spots if you don’t take care of things. This means that when spring comes around your lawn isn’t going to look lush and beautiful.
If you use cool-season grass for your lawn, then leaves might mess up the growth of the grass. You really should take care of fallen leaves if you want your lawn to look good.
It’s also true that fallen leaves can attract more pests to the yard. There are a large number of reasons why you shouldn’t be letting them remain on your lawn for too long.
Waiting Until All the Leaves Have Fallen vs. Raking Every Week or Two
The first thing to consider is whether you want to rake every week or two or if you want to rake up all the leaves at once. It’s probably going to be easier if you wait until all of the leaves have fallen, but there are benefits to raking several times in the fall, too.
For instance, if you decide to rake every couple of weeks, then you’ll be able to keep your yard looking nice during the autumn. If you just continue to allow the leaves to fall, then they’ll be all over your yard and you won’t even be able to see your lawn.
Of course, not everyone thinks that fallen leaves are unsightly. To many people, seeing colorful fallen leaves will just be part of the autumn experience.
It’s good to consider whether your lawn will do better if you rake the leaves more often, though. If you have many trees in your yard and the fallen leaves are smothering your lawn, then it might be wise to rake them up more often instead of waiting.
Those with a modest number of trees on their properties might not be as worried. The answer to whether you will want to bag all of the leaves at once when all the leaves have fallen or rake more often will likely depend on your situation.
In some cases, it’ll be more practical to rake several times instead of just doing one big raking job at the end of the season. For others, doing it once will make it seem as though it isn’t so bad.
If you rake a little bit at a time and get rid of the leaves regularly, then you shouldn’t have to rake leaves for too long each time. Would you prefer to spend a really long time doing something once or would you like to do something multiple times but have it take you less time?
Finally, you should know that leaves will get tougher to rake when they get wet. If you don’t take care of leaves and they remain on the lawn for many weeks or even over a month, then it’s likely that they’ll be packed down.
The leaves might be heavier if you choose to wait to take care of them. It can make the job tougher at the end of the season and you’ll need to be prepared for that.
Remember to Wear Appropriate Clothing
Raking and bagging leaves will be tougher if you aren’t dressed to do the job. Wearing appropriate clothing is a must when you’re doing chores such as this in the fall.
You want to wear something that will allow you to feel comfortable while still keeping you warm. In many parts of North America, it’s going to get quite chilly in the fall, and this means that you need to wear some type of jacket.
Don’t wear a heavy jacket unless it is very cold outside, though. You want to try to wear something that’s easy to move around in since you’re going to be raking and bending down a lot.
Wearing long pants will also be a must since the temperatures will be cool. If you don’t think that you’ll feel comfortable wearing jeans the entire time, then sweatpants might work nicely since they’re warm and you won’t feel restricted.
It might even be a good idea to wear a hat. Some people wear face coverings to protect themselves from having to breathe in the dust as well.
If you have allergies, then some type of face mask or bandanna is a good idea. It’ll be tougher to get the job done if you’re walking around sneezing the entire time.
Finally, be sure to put on some good work gloves to protect your hands. Raking leaves can be hard work sometimes and you don’t want to get blisters on your hands.
You’ll also be less likely to cut or scrape your hands on branches or twigs if you’re wearing gloves. Any affordable work gloves that you can find at a local department store will work just fine.
Posture Matters More Than You Know
Do you want to be able to rake and bag leaves efficiently? Would you like to be able to get the job done without feeling as though your back is in terrible pain?
You need to use the correct posture when you’re raking leaves and bagging them. Try not to go too fast or you’re going to wind up twisting and hurting yourself while you’re bending down.
The best way to avoid lower back pain when you’re raking leaves will be to keep your legs slightly bent as you rake. You need to have your weight centered and you should be extending the rake with your arms.
Don’t lean forward with your back when raking because this will cause you to hurt yourself. Getting used to raking the leaves using the correct posture might take some time, but it’ll be well worth it in the end.
When it comes time to bag the leaves you’re going to want to do so carefully. Remember that going too fast will make it more likely that you’ll hurt yourself.
Eventually, you’re going to need to bend down to pick up the bag of leaves. Keep your back straight and try to bend down with your knees and hips.
Bending with your back makes it more likely that you’ll experience back pain. Also, if you lift with your back instead of your legs, you could blow your back out if you’re trying to lift a very heavy bag.
It might be best to try to avoid allowing bags of leaves to become too heavy. If you’re worried that a leaf bag is starting to get a bit heavy, then you should stop filling it and simply start using a new bag.
Use a Good Rake
Using a good rake is going to save you a lot of time. If you use a very small rake, then the job is going to take you a lot longer than it needs to.
You should try to go out to the store and find a rake that is a bit wider than usual. Rakes with wider tine spreads will make it so that you can get the raking job done in a timely fashion.
Of course, you need to ensure that you’re comfortable with the rake as well. If you use a rake that is too big for you or if you use a rake that is longer than you want it to be, then you might have problems.
You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a rake that is the right size for you, though. They do make rakes in multiple sizes, and handling a rake with a wide tine spread shouldn’t be too tough even if you’re a bit shorter than average.
If possible, try to find a rake that has a width of 30 inches to make your life easier. You’ll save yourself a substantial chunk of time.
It’s also nice to find rakes that are advertised not to clog up. Rakes such as this will have an angled-tine design that will make it easier to keep raking without having to stop.
You won’t have to stop to pick out leaves that have become stuck in the tines of the rake nearly as often with one of these convenient rakes. Truly, investing in a good rake is the first step toward bagging leaves efficiently.
Consider Using a Leaf Blower
Some people aren’t going to want to have to use a rake to get the job done. Depending on the circumstances, you might find it easier to use a leaf blower to move leaves into piles.
Leaf blowers can potentially help you to get big jobs done a lot faster. If you have the money to spend on one, then you can make it easier to bag the leaves up.
You can simply walk and point the leaf blower in the direction that you want the leaves to go. This will make it easy to move large numbers of leaves in the fastest time possible.
The downside to this is that leaf blowers are not going to be as accurate. It’s hard to get leaves that might be stuck in corners and you might wind up having to use a rake in certain spots no matter what.
That doesn’t mean that owning one isn’t a good idea, though. It’s something that can help out a lot so long as you’re willing to make the investment.
Leaf blowers aren’t necessarily that pricey in modern times either. You can get basic entry-level leaf blowers at a low cost, but the more powerful ones will cost a pretty penny in most cases.
You’ll need to decide between using electric leaf blowers and gas leaf blowers as well. Electric leaf blowers are substantially quieter, but they aren’t as powerful.
Gas leaf blowers can really move leaves quite nicely, but they’re noisy, heavy, and sometimes too cumbersome for certain people to use reliably. Backpack leaf blowers are the most powerful versions that you can find, but they’re going to be so noisy that they’ll wake up the entire neighborhood if you choose to use them.
If you’re going to use a leaf blower, then you’ll likely want to wear protection. You should wear some type of noise-canceling earmuffs to keep your hearing from being impaired by the leaf blower.
It’s also best to wear protective eyeglasses because leaf blowers can kick up a lot of dust. The dust will get in your eyes if you aren’t careful, and it’s going to be annoying to have to stop to wash your eyes in the middle of the job.
Tackle the Job in Sections
If you have a very large yard, then the task of raking up the leaves is going to seem daunting. You can get the job done more efficiently if you tackle the yard in sections.
Try to break your yard up into four zones and finish one zone at a time. This can help you to stay focused and you’ll be able to see the progress that you’re making.
It can also be good to have people to help you with this job. If you have family members helping with the chores, then you could potentially assign one person to each zone of the yard.
Each individual will be responsible for raking the leaves and bagging them up in one zone of the yard. You can mark the zones properly using stakes and twine if you want to take things really seriously, but that probably isn’t necessary.
Try to Make Things Fun
It won’t seem so bad to rake and bag leaves if you’re able to keep things fun. This is why doing the job with other people is going to make things better.
You can potentially make a game out of things and see who can rake the biggest pile of leaves. Kids often like doing things such as this, and they’ll also enjoy diving into the pile of leaves.
Sometimes playing around this way can make the job take longer, but it won’t feel as if you’re really working. It’ll feel as though you’re playing with your kids and creating good memories.
If you’re doing the job alone, then you might be able to keep yourself engaged by listening to some of your favorite music. Just don’t do this if you’re raking leaves or blowing leaves near the road.
You need to be able to listen out for cars and other signs of danger when you’re working near the road. If you’re in your yard, then it should be perfectly acceptable to work with headphones on and sing along to your favorite tunes.
Use a Mulching Mower
Assuming that you have a mulching mower, this can be a very good way to eliminate a lot of work. It’s going to make things a lot easier than having to go around manually bagging the leaves.
Many mulching mowers will also have a bagging setting that you can utilize. You can run the mower or tractor over the mulched leaves and pick them up with ease.
If you have a mulching mower, then you might be able to keep yourself from having to rake too often. It’s a worthy investment if you have the cash to spend.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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