Unless you’ve been severely preoccupied you can’t fail to have noticed that we’re now firmly experiencing autumn in all her glory. What this means for many of us is of course dealing with the inevitable ‘fall’ of leaves that’s so characteristic of this time of year that Autumn is known as Fall in the USA.
Leaves can be both a pleasure, and a real nuisance at the same time. They look lovely at this time of year, and if you’re ever out for a walk the temptation to kick the huge swathes that appear in our parks and forests can be hard to resist. Back home in the garden however, leaves tend to be a problem, ultimately making a mess of the lawn or clogging up gutters. Luckily there are a number of different strategies you can use to deal with the problem of fallen leaves, so let’s take a look.
What better way to make short work of a great big pile of leaves than to chop it up into something more manageable? Your lawn mower serves as an excellent tool for shredding up any leaves that have made a home on your lawn. From here you either have the option of leaving them to decompose naturally, acting as a mulch to feed the lawn over the winter months, or you can bag them up and put them on a compost heap or dispose of them more easily in their condensed state.
It’s worth bearing in mind that this method will only work with a relatively small and dry amount of leaves. If you’ve got to the point where there are great wet and sludgy piles to tackle, then you’ll probably find even the most brutish petrol lawn mower will end up stalling. If you like you can try switching between mulching and discharge mode to see if this helps, but you might just be better off reaching for the rake at this point! If you are successful in your shredding endeavours it’s worthwhile giving the blade a sharpen afterwards so that you’re ready to go with the mower come next spring.
Use a Tarp to Your Advantage
If you’ve ever wondered what the point is in simply blowing leaves from one place to another then this strategy could hold the answer. Lay a large tarpaulin (the bigger the better, within reason) on a clear area of your lawn and aim to the leaves onto it. When it comes to disposing of them it simply becomes a case of gathering up the ends of the tarp and dragging it clear of the lawn to be disposed of however you wish.
There’s a good chance a tarp full of many damp leaves will be heavy, so to make things safer and easier it’s a good idea to have someone help you shift it, and if possible you could tie a rope through the eyelets at the top of the tarp to allow you to gather it up in a similar way to a drawstring bag, and to give you something to hold onto when moving it.
Get Between the Shrubs
Once leaves are mulched and/or composted they’re great for use as bedding material for your pots and flower beds, however fallen ‘unprocessed’ leaves should be removed from these areas first. You’ll need to be careful using a powerful blower in such close proximity to delicate plants, so stick to a low speed setting, and if possible use a narrow nozzle that allows you to work in this confined space without causing too much of a disturbance. A couple of great choices for this task are the Merry Tools 100760 & Handy THEV2600 , both electric blowers that have a nozzle designed to minimise any damage.