Raking Leaves: 5 Techniques for Keeping Your Yard Tidy
Raking leaves is one of the more tedious yard chores homeowners have to undertake. If you have several trees in your yard or a large compound, it becomes even more laborious. However, leaves left to accumulate in the yard don’t do much to enhance the beauty of your property. A leaf pile-up also encourages insects and other pests in the home. Once the leaves become wet, they start to decay, which makes it unpleasant to walk around the yard. Fortunately, with the help of the 5 techniques below, it need not be too difficult to rake leaves from your yard.
1. Type of Rake
It is best to use a leaf rake for the job rather than a garden rake. Obtain a leaf rake that has a broad head with tines set wide apart. These usually bend a bit under pressure, which gives you more flexibility as you rake. A leaf rake with a thick handle helps to reduce fatigue on your hands. Some designs have comfort grips which help to prevent blisters as you work. If you have back complications, go for an ergonomically designed leaf rake. You will find a variety of rakes at a garden center or home improvement store.
2. How to Work the Rake
Position the rake perpendicular to the ground. An angle of 60 to 80 degrees works best. This gives your body easy leverage as you rake. It also allows you to move with higher flexibility. Work in short strokes rather than long movements. Short sweeps allow you to gather and retain most of the leaves. It also increases efficiency as you rake. You should create small piles of leaves, and then later create bigger piles out of these to make it easier to dispose of.
3. Body Posture
It is vital that you manage your body movements carefully while you rake leaves. As you wield the rake, be sure to restrict the distance over which you have to bend. This helps to reduce fatigue and soreness. It also helps if you frequently change positions while you rake. This way, no part of your body will suffer from too much strain. When you have to bend, do this at your knees rather than the back to help protect your back from injury.
4. Take a Break Often as You Rake
Take frequent breaks as you work. A break every 10 to 15 minutes helps to make it less of a chore. It also helps to reduce fatigue. Keep yourself well hydrated as you work. Drink plenty of water during your breaks.
5. How to Dispose of the Leaves
Load the piles of leaves into several garbage bags. Find out from your local council if there’s a leaf pickup service available. You can then arrange to have the leaves picked up and disposed of. Another option is creating a compost pile in an area of your yard. This is an excellent way to dispose of the leaves naturally. It also creates high quality fertilizer for your plants.