Whether you live in tropical south Florida or the forest coasts of Oregon, every year the trees in our yards cycle and shed their leaves in preparation for the new seasons to come. For homeowners across the nation, leaf cleanup is a dreaded autumn chore. From wrangling the leaves up to getting rid of them, the process is arduous and usually pretty labor intensive. Some people burn leaves, some people dump them where they aren’t supposed to or even ignore them entirely, and these are all dangerous and terrible solutions. There’s just no way around the cleanup of leaves during the fall. Leaves can damage lawns and turn spring into a nightmare cleanup scenario if left untreated and for those and many other reasons, it’s always best to have a plan in place for the fall.
The first thing you’ll want to decide on when dealing with leaf cleanups is whether you want to hire someone or do the work yourself. Doing the work yourself is difficult and time-consuming but also cheap and effective while also always being up to your standard. One easy way to make that decision is to simply put a dollar amount on your time and weigh that against the cost of just hiring someone.
If you decide to do the work yourself there a couple of key things, you’ll want to know. The tools you use will make all the difference and choosing the right tools is crucial especially depending on the size of the lawn. The rake, the leaf blower, gloves, and bags are the best tools of the trade. Try to find a rake that won’t tend to skewer leaves preventing frequent clogs. A combination of a rake and a blower is a powerful team that will make your work go quicker. There are handheld and backpack blowers, and typically the more you spend on one, the less time your paying for power and you gain higher performance. Always try to work from back to front since in many places there will be town sponsored leaf collection days, and they usually have some type of curbside pickup system. Bagging is the other option instead of piling. Be sure to get bags that, when filled, won’t be too much for you to handle in weight.
Going with a professional landscaper to help with your cleanups is best if you have a lot of leaves over the entirety of the season. Many can work with you on services, and those worth hiring will be flexible with your needs. Its possible to hire a company for removal only for instance and save a little bit on the labor costs. This also works If you like cleaning up your yard yourself but have no means of getting rid of the debris. Of course, you can also hire someone to do both the clean-up and removal. Typically the better landscaping companies will use large vacuum trucks that come and suck up all the leaves from the curb. Smaller outfits might do it by hand loading barrels into a dump truck. One good rule of thumb is that the bigger and better equipment the more experienced and timely the landscaper is going to be with your service. Research and planning are the two key factors in more easily dealing with seasonal leaf cleanups.