Best Equipment for Cleaning Up Those Fallen Leaves
It’s that time of year: the air is crisp, Wawa is carrying every imaginable pumpkin-flavored product, and the leaves are turning beautiful colors as they prepare to flutter to the ground. It’s nearly time for fall garden cleanup, a chore you may prefer to avoid. But with assistive technology, this year’s raking doesn’t have to be so painful.
Which equipment is right for you? Consider your priorities as you take a look at the following list:
- Already have a lawn mower? With or without special mulching functionality, most lawnmowers can be rigged up to mulch and disperse leaves throughout your yard, thus avoiding leaf cleanup altogether. This can be an easy, eco-friendly way to rid your yard of leaves and prep your grass for spring growth.
- Leaf-blowers can take just a few sweeps across the yard to do a lot of work for you. They’ve generally gotten lighter, quieter, and more powerful with options like handheld vs. backpack vs. push-blowers and gas vs. electric. A good way to move a lot of leaves quickly, the downsides include the noise, air pollution (gas-powered), and likelihood of stirring up allergens and debris in the air.
- Electric Leaf Vacuums, like this one from Black & Decker, are another great option (and some even come with blowing and mulching settings too). Vacuuming your leaves greatly reduces the amount dust stirred up, and also makes cleanup more efficient with fewer leaves blowing around.
- If you want to go low-tech but raking is too hard on your back, consider a leaf collector. This device is lightweight, human-powered and shaped like a lawn mower. Push it across your yard and it will sweep leaves up off the ground and into a large bag making cleanup fast and easy.
- Good old-fashioned raking, while the most labor-intensive, has its benefits as well. Quiet and repetitive, many people find the process meditative, while it also provides a great physical workout. And there are some useful tools out there that make this task as efficient and easy on your body as possible. For example, this power rake is designed to glide back and forth across the ground without needing to be lifted, reducing the strain on your back. Check out these tips to help you rake like a pro.
And if you’re still feeling less-than-thrilled with the idea of leaf removal, you may be in luck! The National Wildlife Federation has announced a few good reasons to “leave those leaves”. Whatever you decide to do with your leaves, the right assistive technology will make this year’s cleanup a breeze. Happy raking!