Best Tips for Raking Leaves
WORK WITH (OR AVOID) THE WIND
When you have a day to rake your leaves try to do it when there's no wind to interfere with your work. If you have only one day of the week to rake and it happens to be windy, rake your leaves in the same direction that the wind is blowing. If you Rake the leaves into the wind it will only blow them around.
Clear your pathways and high-traffic areas of leaves on an ongoing basis. Don't even bother raking your entire yard until all the leaves have fallen. It may bother you to see the leaves pile up, but you should still wait until the branches are bare. This will save you from hours of work.
USE THE RIGHT TOOLS
Your rusty metal fan rake may seem like an old friend, but its useful days are over. There are new raking tools out there like the Lee Valley Power Rake which will save you a lot of time on yard work. You may want to consider other raking alternatives, such as a push-power leaf collector to help reduce your backaches.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
Speaking of backaches, make sure you practice proper raking techniques before, during, and after your work. Raking is considered as a real workout, so you need to stretch in order for your body to warm up before you start.
This is the key to efficient raking. Rake your leaves into small piles on top of a tarp or a piece of plastic, then drag that pile to your main pile or compost. Raking all the leaves into one big pile takes extra time and energy plus you still have to move it to another location.
RAKE WHEN IT'S DRY
This one is simple but important. Wet leaves are heavier than dry ones, so try to do your raking during a dry stretch of weather. This will not only save you time and energy, but also prevent you from handling a bunch of slimy, wet leaves.
USE A MULCHING MOWER
This is kind of like cheating but is ultimately an effective way to clean up your leaves by turning them into mulch that's bagged by the mower. If you don't like the smell, sound, or environmental impact of gas mowers, there are some great electric mowers out there that have mulching capability.