When you have leaves on your yard, you have no way out, other than to remove them.
There are two main ways in which you can remove the leaves: bagging and mulching.
The best way to pick up leaves from the yard solely depends on you.
What you will learn
Bagging the leaves
From its name, bagging simply means putting the leaves into a bag.
While you can use this technique when you are looking to remove any types of leaves, the method is highly effective when you are looking to remove leaves coming from pine trees that are known to leave a lot of needle clumps on the grass.
The cool thing with most of the bags is that they are biodegradable; therefore, you don’t have to remove the leaves from the bag when you are disposing of them.
While bagging is a highly effective method of getting rid of leaves from your yard, it comes with its fair share of setbacks.
One of the setbacks is that you have to buy the bags.
Depending on where you live, you have to pay for disposal as most of the garbage services providers don’t allow leaves to be dumped in a landfill.
Another setback is that collecting the leaves and putting them in the bag is tedious and grueling.
You also need to spend a lot of time doing it.
Best way to bag leaves
There are plenty of ways in which you can bag the leaves. Some of these ways include:
Bagging with a leaf blower
Do you have many trees that shed a lot? You should invest in a good quality leaf blower.
There are plenty of leaf blowers in the market that you can go for.
I have been using the Greenworks 150 MPH and I have never had any problems with it.
The leaf blower is a little bit expensive than the others, but the extra cost will be worth it in the long run as it will not only give you a better service, it also will last for long without requiring any repairs.
There are other leaf blowers such as the Black Decker that has the ability to vacuum leaves and shred them into a bag.
If you feel that this is your thing, you should go ahead and get it.
For you to get the most from it, you need to use the leaf blower properly.
Instead of blowing everything in a straight line, move in a semi-circle pattern. This is to ensure that the leaves go towards one point.
You shouldn’t hold down the throttle of the machine to maximum power all the time.
The best way of going about it is by using short bursts of air that have been proven to give perfect results.
Once you have collected a sizable pile, simply bag it. Don’t try to blow it into a larger pile as it will take more time and effort to do it.
Bagging with a rake
Bagging with a rake is the most tried and tested way of collecting leaves.
This method is highly effective when you have a small yard.
If you have a large yard (one that is over a third an acre), you should avoid raking the leaves as it will take a long time and cause a sore back.
If you have a small yard, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on leaf blowers. Investing in a simple rake will be enough.
There isn’t a genius way to rake leaves. If you are used to raking acorns, you should use the same method.
Bagging with a lawnmower
As the lawn mower cuts the grass, the grass clippings get to the bag attachment where you can easily dump or pour them into larger leaf bags.
For the lawn mower to avoid picking up the grass, you should adjust it to its highest setting.
There are plenty of benefits that come with bagging using a lawnmower.
One of the benefits is that the method works even if you have just a few leaves on your yard.
The practice also requires less effort as it’s the lawn mower that cuts and collects the grass.
While the practice is highly effective, the downside of it is that if your lawn is completely covered with leaves, you will have to keep on emptying the bag every few feet.
This can be tiring and time-consuming.
Lawn experts recommend that you undertake mulching whenever the conditions allow.
If leaves are scattered on your lawn but they haven’t completely covered it, you should mulch them with a lawnmower.
You need to insert a mulch plug and close the side port that you use to discharge grass clippings.
As you push the lawn mower over the leaves, the gator mulching blades will chop the leaves into tiny pieces that fall to the ground for the microorganisms to break them down.
Avoid using this method when your lawn is completely covered with leaves.
In the event you do it, you will end up with a thick messy layer of chopped up leaf pieces on your lawn.
These pieces often clump together, don’t break down easily, and will be more problematic to pick up later.
Mulching comes with plenty of benefits.
The obvious one is that leaf mulch is food for your lawn. Just like fertilizer, it provides nutrients to the soil, keeping your yard healthy.
Mulching also aids in decreasing weed growth and moisture evaporation in the soil.
Unlike when you are bagging the leaves, you don’t have to incur an additional cost of buying bags.
While the practice is great, it comes with its set of disadvantages.
One of the disadvantages is that mulching too much material at the same time leaves clumps in your yard that is known to smother the grass.
If you have a lot of leaves on your yard, the lawn mower can clog up.
Leaf experts recommend that you first remove the extra leaves with your rake or leaf blower before you attempt mulching with the lawn mower.
Build a compost pile
A compost pile is simply a collection of organic material (either leaves or grass) that decomposes, forming nutrient-rich compost which can be used as a type of fertilizer for plants, trees, or gardens.
Compost is often used as a substitute for topsoil.
For you to make the compost pile you have to put the leaves you collect from the yard into the compost bin.
While this is a great way to dispose of the leaves, making compost takes time as decomposition doesn’t happen overnight.
In some cases, it takes up to 3 months for you to make a decent compost pile.
Are you thinking about having a pile in your yard? You should think twice if you are into having a fresh, well-groomed lawn.
This is because the pile isn’t the most beautiful thing to look at.
If you don’t like the idea of constructing the pile, you can always get compost containers.
For you to speed up the decomposition, it’s wise that you first mulch the leaves before you put them in the containers.
Mulching them also comes in handy at saving up space.
Combine the leaf collection methods
In most cases, you won’t achieve perfect results from a single leaf collection method.
For you to pick up as many leaves as possible, you should consider combining the leaf collection methods.
One of the combinations you can use is giving your yard a once-over with your mower after you have removed most of the leaves using a rake or blower.
After doing this, your lawn will look immaculate and the bits and pieces of leaves will nourish the soil with nutrients.
Another combination technique you can use is using a blower to push the leaves into the general area then rake them into more defined piles.
Choose your method
There is no best way to pick up leaves from your yard. It’s up to you to choose the most ideal.
For you to settle at a given method, pay attention to the pros and cons of each.
When making your choice, remember that mulching greatly improves the health of the lawn, while bagging gives the lawn an aesthetic appeal.
There is no magical way on how to rake leaves into a bag or undertake mulching but if you can’t do it or you don’t have the time, you should consider hiring a professional to help you out.
When hiring the contractor, ensure that he/she is certified and experienced enough. You don’t want to hire a professional who will cause more problems in your yard.