During the fall, trees put on a breathtaking display of leaves. Red, orange, yellow, and brown leaves turn lawns and gardens into spectacular landscapes. However, as the season progresses, the leaves start to fall, and they can create an unsightly mess on your property and may even compromise your lawn’s health. So, what should you do? The easy fix is to rake, pick, and bag these fall leaves. But, it is a tedious, repetitive, and time-consuming task. And that is where leaf clean up tools come in!
Photo Credit If you have the right tools, you can spend more time enjoying the fall and less time picking the leaves.
Having the right leaf cleanup tools can make yard cleanup a breeze and save you from a lot of back pain and time. The time you could spend doing your other lawn chores and enjoying the freshly picked apples and the crisp nip of the autumn air. These tools include claw-shaped rakes, leaf blowers, mulching mowers, etc.
Read on to learn more about these tools and where you can buy them.
A Few Things To Consider
Photo Credit You know what they say: work smarter, not harder, and the same goes for picking up fall leaves.
Before I discuss the best leaf-clean-up tools to help you clean up your fall lawn quickly and easily, let’s go over a few things that you need to consider before starting:
Determine Your Disposal Options
Before you start cleaning your yard of fallen autumn leaves, you must determine how to dispose of them once you have collected and bagged them.
Depending on where you live, your city might have a local collection center that accepts yard waste. And, if you are among the lucky ones, your city might allow you to pile up fall leaves on the road for pickup.
However, when piling up leaves on the street, please ensure that you do not block fire hydrants or cover storm drains.
Another way to dispose of fall leaves is to use them in compost and return the nutrients to your garden and lawn soil for the next season.
Watch The Weather
Watch the weather before cleaning up the fall leaves in your yard. If rain is expected, clean your yard of fall leaves as soon as possible.
If it rains before you pick up the leaves, everything will be soggy and clogged, and you will have a more demanding time cleaning.
If it is a hot day when you decide to clean your yard, make sure you drink plenty of water and appropriate clothing.
And, if it is going to be a windy day, the wind might do the work for you, and you can rake the leaves in the direction of the wind, making the job easier.
Ask For Help
If you have a family member or friend who can help, do not hesitate to ask them for assistance. If you have someone working alongside you, you will finish the work quickly and have an easier time working as you will not be bored, alone, or as tired.
Pick The Best Tools
Knowing which tools to use and having the right tools can make fall yard cleanup much quicker and easier. So, let’s now discuss some must-have leaf cleanup tools.
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The Best Leaf Cleanup Tools
Growing up, I used many tools and methods for fall leave cleanup, from when I was a little kid and my parents asked me to help them clean the yard to now when I have my lawn surrounded by beautiful trees.
So, here is a quick rundown of some of my favorite yard cleanup tools that can also help you make your yard cleanup easy and fast.
Photo Credit Sun Joe SBJ597E 6-Amp 155 Mph Electric Leaf Blower.
If you have a small yard or not too many leaves scattered around on your lawn, driveway, or patio, an average-sized leaf blower can help you clear-up things quickly and easily.
They come in all sizes, and you can get them anywhere. I think cordless electric leaf blowers are the best for small yards. They are eco-friendly, easy to charge, fast and inexpensive.
All you have to do is turn up the leaf blower and watch the leaves blow wherever you want them to. However, using a leaf blower can be tricky, especially for people who have not used it before.
It takes some time to learn how far you need to stand to blow leaves in a specific direction and not stand too close to blow them all over.
Nevertheless, here is my favorite leaf blower, which you can buy right now on amazon.
Sun Joe SBJ597E 6-Amp 155 Mph Electric Leaf Blower.
Reusable Leaf Chute
Photo Credit The Leaf & Lawn Chute is a tri-fold sheet constructed of high-density plastic.
Even if you collect fall leaves from your yard in a single spot, you are nowhere near done.
You still have to put these fall leaves into a garbage can or bag. Now, this might sound easy, but it is one of the trickiest parts of the process.
No matter what you do, the dry leaves will keep falling around the bag’s mouth but not into it, which is frustrating.
However, putting leaves into a bag does not have to be this difficult. I highly recommend that you buy a reusable leaf chute.
Leaf chutes are inexpensive plastic guiders or upright boxes that you can use to fill up trash bags and mulchers with leaves quickly. Moreover, these tools are reusable and can help smaller yard cleanup projects be more efficient.
In case you are interested, here is my favorite leaf chute:
Eco-Friendly Leaf Bags
Photo Credit BioBag (USA), The Original Compostable Bag, 13 Gallon, 100% Certified Compostable.
Why are you picking leaves from your yard, collecting them in piles, and then putting them in trash bags? To clean your lawn and protect grass from smothering and pests, right?
However, while cleaning and protecting your grass, you do not want to make the environment dirty and endangered, do you? And that is what happens when you use plastic trash bags to fill up your yard waste and put it in a dumpster or collection center.
Plastic bags are often not recyclable, they clog up gutters, and sewerage lines and dumpsters worldwide are filled with them. All in all, avoid using plastic bags to fill and dispose of the fall leaves. Instead, use recyclable leaf/trash bags.
These bags are strong and sturdy, and even if they tear up, you can safely throw them in your garbage can or compost them right in the comfort of your home.
So, if you want, I highly recommend these bags from amazon:
BioBag (USA), The Original Compostable Bag, 13 Gallon, 48 Total Count.
Waterproof Garden Gloves
Photo Credit Miracle-Gro MG30604 Water Resistant Grip Gloves.
If you have never used gloves while working in your yard or garden, you should give them a try. When working in an outdoor setting, you must deal with organic debris, dust, rock, dirt, and sometimes thorny plants or leaves. These objects could easily cause harm.
Likewise, when working on a yard cleanup project, you might have to rake your lawn for hours or hold a leaf vacuum for prolonged periods.
All this can give you blisters which can be pretty painful and frustrating. However, if you wear gloves when performing these tasks, your chances of getting hurt and having blisters are significantly reduced.
So, I highly recommend buying a pair of suitable hand gloves for your yard leaf cleanup project and looking for gloves labeled waterproof. These will make working with leaves easy and help you collect leaves from gutters or drainage lines.
Miracle-Gro MG30604 Water Resistant Grip Gloves.
Photo Credit 10×12 Multi-Purpose Silver/Brown Heavy Duty DRY TOP Poly Tarp.
When working on a fall leaf cleanup project, most people create small piles of leaves here and there and all over their lawns. I think it is not worth it, and it just adds unnecessary time and effort to an already dull, tedious, and time-consuming yard or fall task.
It is because once you are done creating small piles all over your yard, you have to go to each one individually, pick up the leaves, and put them into a bag. What I do, instead, is to take a big old-fashioned tarp and place it in the center of my lawn.
Next, I rake leaves from my lawn onto it and fill up the trash bags standing in one place instead of running all over my yard. And it saves me a lot of time.
So, if you would like, buy a leaf tarp from the link below:
10×12 Multi-Purpose Silver/Brown Heavy Duty DRY TOP Poly Tarp.
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Leaf Roof Brush
Photo Credit Garelick 21-Foot-Long Leaf Roof Brush
Cleaning your lawn of fallen fall leaves is cumbersome, we know. However, the yard is not the only place where these leaves fall. They can even make their way onto your roof, and cleaning them off a roof is tricky, even for the most daring among us.
You must find a stair, climb on top, and take the leaves off.
Some people even use a pressure washer to wash fall leaves off their roofs, a practice that wastes resources and creates a mess, and can damage shingles on your roof.
So, what to do? I recommend buying a Leaf Roof Brush.
As fancy as it may sound, a leaf roof brush is only a long angled broom with a brush at the end that you can use to remove leaves off your roof. And, when buying a leaf roof brush, I recommend you look for one with a broad brush and a long rod.
My favorite is the Garelick 21-Foot-Long Leaf Roof Brush
Lawn Leaf Sweeper
Photo Credit Agri-Fab 45-0492 Lawn Sweeper, 44-Inch.
Raking a big yard with tons of leaves can be challenging, especially if you have a weak back and thin arms. And this is where a lawn leaf sweeper can help. These gadgets come in two forms: push lawn sweepers and tow-behind lawn sweepers.
You can choose any depending on your needs, and then all you have to do is carry them around, and they will collect the leaves automatically for you.
Here are my favorite lawn sweepers: one is a pull-behind, and the other is a push sweeper.
Photo Credit WORX Mulching Capabilities and Intellicut, WG779 40V Cordless 14″ Lawn Mower.
You do not necessarily need to dispose of fall leaves in a trash can or a yard waste collection center to get rid of them. Instead, you can use them as mulch in your yard.
However, you will have to buy a mulching mower to do that. It will break the fall leaves into tiny pieces and spread them on your lawn. They will readily decompose and return nutrients to the soil, keeping your grass healthy and your lawn lush.
Use the link to buy a mulching mower: WORX Mulching Lawn Mower.
Photo Credit Flowtron LE-900 The Ultimate Mulcher Electric Leaf Shredder.
Most people already have a mower in their homes, and buying a new mower only for mulching capabilities can seem like a waste of money to them.
If that is you, too, we have just the perfect thing for you: a leaf mulcher.
These handy yard tools are often cheaper than mulching mowers, and they can be used in the same way to shred leaves into small pieces, which can then be spread on the yard as mulch. The only drawback of using them is manual labor to spread leaves yourself.
Nevertheless, if you want, use this link: Flowtron The Ultimate Electric Leaf Shredder.
Kid’s Leaf Rake
Photo Credit Superio Kids Rake with Hardwood Handle, Durable Plastic Head to Sweep Leaves in the Lawn.
There is no way that your kids will want to stay away from those dry, brown, and yellow leaves that are the characteristics of autumn on lawns.
So, if you are working on a yard cleanup project, they will want to be a part of it. But how can they help? Maybe you can ask them to rake the leaves in one place.
However, regular leaf rakes can be too big for the kids, and this is where kid’s leaf rakes come in.
So, if you do not want your kids to miss this fall fun, use this link to buy a kid’s leaf rake: Superio Kids Rake with Hardwood Handle to Sweep Leaves in the Lawn.
Advanced Pickup Rake
Photo Credit Garden GrabX GGX001 Super Lightweight Leaf Grabber
While your kids can help you with a fall cleanup project, it is unlikely that they will be able to get it all done on their own. So, you will still need all the help you can get.
But what if there is no one else to help you? Then, I suggest you order an advanced pickup rake like the one shown above. These clever tools come with a “grabber” design that can be used to scoop and grab leaves from a leaf pile.
You can think of them as “leaf scoopers” but with a much longer reach.
Want one? Order it here: Garden GrabX Super Lightweight Leaf Grabber.
Photo Credit Sun Joe SBJ603E 13-Amp 240 MPH 3-in-1 Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum.
Leaf rakes are great tools, but if you have a large yard to clean, they will not help much!
To clean a big lawn full of fall leaves, you will need something much more powerful that does not require you to move around your arms all day long, such as a leaf vacuum.
A leaf vacuum is a fantastic tool to suck up leaves and put them into a trash bag for easy disposal. They are convenient when it comes to cleaning leaves from the corners.
There are many models of leaf vacuums on the market, but my favorite is Sun Joe Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum. It is a 3-in-1 machine that is especially helpful in big projects.
Photo Credit Fiskars 384240-1001 384240-1007 Cultivator.
Sometimes, if you forget to clean up your yard for a while during the fall, leaves that fall on the bare ground can get covered with the soil and, after a while, become matted against the ground. These leaves can be challenging to remove or rake with a leaf rake.
While you can try to dig and pick them up with your hands, it is not recommended.
Instead, I suggest that you use a garden claw. It can help you dig up matted leaves in the soil before they start causing problems and creating a nasty mess.Use this link to order a garden claw: Fiskars 384240-1001 384240-1007 Cultivator.
Photo Credit Pure Garden Leaf Hand Rake: Durable Grabber Tool for Scooping and Picking Up Leaves
Once you have collected leaves from over your property into a large pile, you must put them into garbage cans or yard trash bags.
However, putting them into bags or cans with hands can be messy, inefficient, and, most importantly, slow.
That is where leaf scoops can help! These giant claw-like tools can attach to your hands and help you transport, and bag leaves into a can much more effortlessly. However, you can also use them for numerous other lawn tasks, such as spreading mulch.
Here is my favorite pair of leaf scoops on amazon: Pure Garden Leaf Hand Rake.
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Leaf-Friendly Fan Rake
Photo Credit Corona RK 62061 Fixed Tine Leaf Rake, Aluminum Handle, 19-Inch Wide.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but you cannot use a regular garden or lawn rake to rake leaves. Standard garden/lawn rakes have stiff tines designed to dig into the soil.
When raking your lawn for fall leaves, you do not need to do that. Here, it would help if you had something with softer tines so that you could gently rake the leaves off the surface of the grass. And that is where specialized leaf rakes with curved tines come in.
Furthermore, these leaf rakes are inexpensive, and you can clean your yard much more easily and quickly using a leaf rake. Want one? Order it using the link below:
Corona RK 62061 Fixed Tine Leaf Rake, Aluminum Handle, 19-Inch Wide.
While investing in leaf cleanup tools can help you save a lot of time and effort when working on a fall yard cleanup project, you do not need to invest in something fancy and too expensive. Even the most basic leaf cleanup tools work just as well.
The only time when investing in high-end and expensive yard cleanup tools make sense is when you are a professional or a business owner and have to regularly deal with big-scale lawn cleanup projects that require too much machine and muscle power.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the fastest way to clean up leaves?
The fastest way to clean up leaves on your property is to rake them all in one place on a big tarp and then bag them using leaf scoopers.
However, you can also use a leaf vacuum to such leaves from your property, and modern leaf vacuums can even bag leaves for you.
What machine is best for picking up leaves?
If picking up leaves with a leaf rake seems too tricky, you can use a machine such as a leaf vacuum. It works wonders when picking up leaves from corners or drain lines.
How do you pick up large amounts of leaves?
There are only so many leaves you can pick with your hands. So, if you want to pick up a large number of leaves in one go, buy a pair of leaf scoops. These handy tools come in the shoe of a claw and attach to your hands, helping you pick leaves quickly.
Is a leaf blower better than a rake?
If you want to clean leaves quickly, a leaf blower is always better than a rake. However, using a leaf blower correctly takes practice and experience, unlike a leaf rake.
Is it better to pick up leaves or mow them?
If that option is available, you should try to mow the fall leaves with a mulching mower. It removes the fall leaves while adding nutrients to the soil for new grass growth.
Sources for Further Reading
Lighten the Load of Fall Garden Cleanup. (2019). Retrieved 4 January 2023, from https://extension.illinois.edu/blogs/garden-scoop/2019-11-08-lighten-load-fall-garden-cleanup
Is It Necessary to Rake the Leaves in the Fall, or Can it Wait Until Spring? (2018). Retrieved 4 January 2023, from https://extension.unh.edu/blog/2018/10/it-absolutely-necessary-rake-leaves-fall-or-can-it-wait-until-spring
Your garden party of fall cleanup tasks. Michigan State University Extension. (2013). Retrieved 4 January 2023, from https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/your_garden_party_of_fall_cleanup_tasks
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