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Leaf Raking Technique — What’s Yours?

BEFORE photo: Eric Johnson

So what is your leaf raking technique?

I guess that has a lot to do with how you dispose of them.  Many in my community have yards large enough where they can put them in a back corner in a mulch pile.  Others are lucky enough to have woods near their property.  In those cases the best method is simply raking them onto a tarp and dumping them in a pile.

Many townships just ask residents to rake them to the curb and a machine will come and suck them up.  This however creates problems.  Along with looking messy, the leaves can blow back on our property.  This method also takes parking away from the curb.  Parking over leaves can be dangerous!  (Just ask AJ Soprano!  He parked with a girlfriend over a pile of curbed leaves and his Dad’s car caught the leaves on fire, that caught the car on fire–don’t do that!)

Growing up in Mays Landing we had a ton of oak trees and my parents put the leaf raking responsibility on me and my brother–he did half the yard–I did the other half.  In those days we used the “classic method”.  We used rakes and put them in huge clear plastic bags!  (Seems strange these days putting leaves that mulch down in months into plastic bags that take thousands of years to break down!)

Then in the late 70s and 80s, blowers got more popular.  The sound of leave blowers has become New Jersey’s fall weekend soundtrack!  (No none should run their leave blower before 9am on weekends…just sayin’!)

For 20 years my township requires residents to place leaves in paper bags.  Then they take them away to a county mulch facility.  I used to use the “classic technique”…raking the leaves into piles and putting them in the bags.

The most efficient technique I have learned is to keep up with the mess week to week and use the lawn mower with bag attachment to pick them up.  The mower mulches them and you can fit many more in the paper bags…and there is less bending over to pick up the piles.

Of course I suppose the best technique is to just pay a landscaper to do it!

What is your technique?

After photo: Eric Johnson

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