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The children are back at school, the pumpkin spice latte is popular at coffee shops, the glow of football stadium lights fills the night, and the days are getting shorter and crisper. That means, the leaves will soon start to change into the colors of fire and will soon fall to the ground, covering it like a patchwork quilt.
Fall is a wonderful time of year. The downside is that the blanket of leaves has to be removed to protect your lawn from fungus, rot and disease. The upside is that the chore of leaf removal doesn’t have to be the arduous task that many make it.
With the right plan and tools or the right landscaping company, leaf removal can be simple and maybe even enjoyable. Connect with a landscaping contractor today and get quotes from pros in your area, for free.
Leaf Removal Tools
For the DIYers, there are some amazing tools out there to help you with this fall tradition. Leaf blowers are a great way to get large volumes of leaves into smaller and more manageable piles, but have you checked out the leaf vacuums that are available? They suck up the leaves as well as mulch them and feed them right into an easy to empty bag. They range in all prices and come in electric and battery versions.
A lawn sweeper is also a pretty amazing piece of equipment for leaf removal. This isn’t your grandmother’s sweeper! The machine operates much like a mower (and some even have mowing capabilities) that have a rolling blade that rolls over the leaves and collects them into a large attached bin for disposal. Some can be manually pushed ($99.00 Walmart) or you can get the heavy-duty version ($1050.00 Big Box Stores) that can be pulled by your riding lawn mower for leaf removal on a large yard.
If you aren’t sold on purchasing another piece of large and more costly equipment, a good ‘ole fashioned rake is, by all means, okay. Just remember that all rakes aren’t created equal. Choosing a rake that has a wider head for large areas can save you a great deal of time and won’t cost you a lot of money. One that is less wide and has sturdier metal tines can be good for areas with branches and debris. Some rakes will last much longer and flex for twigs and debris but may spear the leaves and lead to a clogged rake, so give consideration to the areas and types of leaves and materials you will be raking. It’s not a bad idea to purchase a few different rakes with varying widths and tines to help you to rake the many areas of your yard more efficiently including mulched and rocky areas. Likewise, the types of leaves in your yard must be considered. If you have trees with small leaves, they may not get picked up with a rake with widely spaced tines which are better for larger leaves and branches. (Another plus to multiple rakes for multiple purposes is you can enlist the help of your family and get the job done in no time).
An additional inexpensive, ingenious piece of equipment for bagging those piles of leaves are leaf claws. Yes, that’s right, leaf claws. These lightweight cymbals with teeth allow you to pick up big handfuls of leaves to put into bags. You may feel a little silly wearing them, but when they cut leaf pick-up time in half, your vanity may take a backseat.
Using a basic tarp or purchasing a lawn tarp with flexible plastic sides for easy leaf removal are also a good idea. The tarps especially made for leaf clean-up will cost some extra money but will save some dollars in time. The sides can be gathered or some have sides that lift like a cloth kiddy pool and can be shut for collection and removal to a leaf collection site or your compost pile. Pop up bags like the ones from gardentersedge.com can also simplify the leaf removal process as well.
Leaf Removal Services
Many cities have sites where you can dispose of your leaves, just call the city’s sanitation or maintenance departments to get the scoop. If you have a garden, there are a number of ways to prep it in the fall. And, one of the most environmentally friendly and mutually beneficial ways to dispose of your leaves is to spread them over the surface. In the spring, you can rototill them to create nutrient-rich soil for your summer plants. If you don’t personally have a garden, consider contacting a community garden site that might welcome your discards for their personal gain.
While we have provided you with a number of tools and solutions for leaf removal and clean-up, one could also make the argument that hiring someone to do this job may be the way to go. A contract with a quality landscaping company that removes leaves can be a very wise investment when you are short on time or would just rather be watching college football or heading to the farmer’s markets.
The average cost nationally is approximately $208-$325. If you consider the price of heavy-duty equipment, then it makes sense. As you search for the right landscaper in your area, make sure to understand the contract and how often they will be coming to collect leaves. Often, one time will not do it, so make sure you read the fine print and know exactly what you are getting. Whether you decide to hire a contractor or a do it yourself, leaf clean up doesn’t need to be a stress. Instead, get out and enjoy this wonderful time of year.