Raking leaves every autumn is arduous work, but waiting until spring when leaves are a soggy mess is even worse. If you’re among the multitudes of gardeners that don’t look forward to this yearly chore, a leaf blower is an efficient way to get the job done in a fraction of the time.
Today’s leaf blowers are lightweight and super convenient, but having a game plan before you begin makes the task even easier. Rural King, America’s Farm and Home Store, offers some great tips for getting the most out of your lawn blower.
Before getting started, it helps to choose a good blower. Rural King recommends the Poulan Pro 2-Cycle blower, a fully-featured gas blower with vacuum capability. At just 15 pounds, the blower is lightweight but sturdy enough to get the job done. Variable speed puts you in charge of the power and minimizes unnecessary noise.
Prepare to Use a Leaf Blower
Choose a relatively calm day. A little breeze is no problem, but using a leaf blower on a windy day is an exercise in frustration. Similarly, don’t attempt to blow leaves too soon after a rain.
Strategize! If your yard is small, blowing leaves into the center makes sense. However, a larger lawn is easier to manage if you divide it into smaller sections, and you won’t waste time blowing leaves over areas you’ve already completed.
Dress for the job, beginning with proper safety glasses and ear plugs. Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt protect your arms and legs. Flip-flops or sandals are definitely not a good idea.
Walk through the lawn before you begin. Rake or pick up twigs, branches, and other objects.
Although today’s leaf blowers are quieter, powerful blowers can still be noisy, so think of your neighbors before you begin. Don’t blow leaves early in the morning or late in the evening. And by all means, postpone the job if you see your neighbors enjoying a picnic or barbecue.
Never use your leaf blower immediately after fertilizing your lawn or applying pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals. Additionally, don’t use your leaf blower on graveled areas.
Getting the Job Done
Use a side-by-side motion as you work your way around the section, blowing leaves into the center. Transfer the leaves into large garbage bags, then set them aside and turn them into mulch or compost later. Rural King offers amazingly affordable, super-durable 40-gallon lawn and leaf bags that work well for this.
You might also want to use their Gardex Hand Leaf Scoop. The large poly discs allow you to easily grab bunches of leaves, pine needles and other residue, saving wear and tear on the back, shoulders, wrists and hands.
You can blast dry leaves out of your gutters too. However, if your gutters are clogged with damp leaves or other soggy debris, Rural King recommends the Gutter Getter Scoop 150, which protects your hands from scrapes and scratches and makes it easier to pull out all the muck.
Keep in mind that leaf blowers aren’t just for leaves. That’s right! Your autumn landscaping can also include using the leaf blower to remove dust and debris from your driveway, or even eliminating cobwebs from the corner of your patio. And a good leaf blower is sturdy enough to clear your sidewalk of a light dusting of snow well past fall.