Rake Smarter, Not More

Raking does more than make your lawn look nice.  Raking prevents your grass from being smothered over winter and spring, and it also lowers the risk of mold growing under the snow and prevents small creatures from making homes in or on your lawn. Make raking this fall more productive and less of a hassle with these helpful tips.

  • Rake with the wind. While this may be harder than it sounds some days, taking a few moments when you first get outside and understanding the elements will make your task easier.  If it is windy, try to rake your leaves behind some sort of wind block so the next gust of wind doesn’t take you back to square one.
  • Rake your leaves when they are dry. Dry leaves are lighter and easier to move around your lawn than wet leaves.
  • Rake downhill. Raking uphill is just impractical – gravity is working against you.
  • Use a tarp. Tarps make leaf collection easier, and once you get the leaves on the tarp, you don’t have to worry about raking every last bit of leaf from the ground.  You can also use tarps to move smaller piles of leaves to your bigger pile or compost bin.
  • When your lawn isn’t covered in leaves, use a lawn mower instead.  Lawn mowers are more effective in the beginning of fall than the end.  Mulching the leaves early on will disperse the nutrients across the soil and take away some extra fertilizing work you might be planning on doing.
  • Keep your self in mind.  Stay hydrated and wear gloves and appropriate work shoes.  Raking does take quite a bit of work and you don’t necessarily have to do it all at once.  Take breaks, especially if you are feeling tired or sore.  Try to avoid twisting too much when you are raking, too – shift your weight with your legs, not your back.  Find a rake that works for you and is in good, functioning order.  If your rake is missing some prongs or is extra rusty, it might be time to invest in a new one.

Remember your childhood – do some leaf crunching! Crushing leaves down once you get them in a pile will lower the risk of them blowing away.