Do it yourself: How to clean up fall leaves

Fall is here, and so are the leaves.  When it comes to cleaning up the leaves in your yard, there are many options.


Although raking leaves is the traditional way of cleaning up the leaves in your yard, it is also a very simple method.  That’s all you need is a rake, some elbow-grease, and a little bit of time, and you can have the leaves off of your grass in no time.

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Leaf Blowers

If raking isn’t an option for your, consider a leaf blower.  There are small ones that you can hold in one hand to simply blow the leaves into a pile.  These use electricity or gas to operate.  These blowers are also helpful when cleaning in between the bushes of your landscaping.

Many of the small leaf blowers convert into mulchers.  So once you have a pile of leaves, you can convert the blower into a leaf sucker to vacuum up the leaves and mulch them into tiny pieces.  We use this one and it’s so handy around the yard:

Black & Decker High Performance Blower

There are also larger, commercial sized leaf blowers that will get the job done a lot faster.  They are gas-powered, and can be loud, so make sure you put on ear-protectors before turning this machine on.

Leaf Vacuums

For the average size yard, a leaf vacuum might be right the solution.  It looks like a small lawnmower, except it doesn’t have any blades to cut the grass.  You simply push it around your yard, like you would use a lawnmower, and it will vacuum up all of the leaves.  In addition, it mulches them into small pieces.  Just empty the cloth bag when it’s full, and your yard will be clean in no time.  Tip: We prefer the self-propelled kind that you can find at your local lawnmower shop.

Gadgets and Tools

There are many unique systems you can buy to handle leaves.  There are attachments for trackers and riders, as well as tools to make the leaf season easier.   Depending on the equipment you already own, it might be possible to just buy a mulch attachment or leaf system for your existing lawn mower or rider.

Disposing of your leaves

You have a few options when it comes to removing leaves from your lawn.

Woods – If you have a piece of property with some woods, you may want to consider dumping your leaves here.  It makes for an easy clean up, and the leaves will decay over time.

Yard Waste Bags – These are the extra-large brown bags, made especially for leaves.  Just put your leaves in the bags, and then bring them to your town compost area for disposal.  Some of the larger cities also offer curbside pick-up of yard waste.

To keep the brown bags open, there is a special plastic circle you can buy.  It stays at the top of the bag, and keeps it open so you have an easier time getting your leaves in the bag.

Magic Ring Yard Cleanup Paper Bag Helper

When you’re finished, try to keep your bags dry until you can dispose of them.  Soggy bags may rip open when you are finally ready to move them.  Be sure to fold the top of the bag so it is closed.  That way rain cannot get inside.

REUSABLE Yard Waste Bags – Did you know they now make REUSABLE yard waste bags?  They are similar to the ones for grocery shopping, but much larger.  So if you have a place to dump your leaves, this is the way to go.  For more details, you can check them out here:

Reusable Garden Waste Bags

Curb side pick up – Some towns offer curb side leaf removal.  That’s all you need to do is rake or blow your leaves into a pile by the street, and the town will come and vacuum them up.  If your town does not offer this service, you may want to locate a landscaper who can provide this service.

Happy Landscaping. 🙂

Here are a few more of our articles you may enjoy:

Things to plant this fall

First Frost Warning: What it means for you and your outdoor plants

Household Checklist for October

Fall Cleaning Checklists