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Friday, July 22, 2011

Autumn Family Activity - Removing Leaves from Yard

Autumn is the season when the leaves fall from the trees and cover your entire yard. Everywhere you look you will view leaves and it can be an overwhelming sight.

The best way to remove the leaves from your yard is make it a family activity.  Organize the leaf removal so that everyone is working together. Make this project fun and one that everyone will remember.  If you stay focused you will be able to remove the leaves from your yard quickly.  

Don't forget to take time to fall into the pile of leaves before you remove them from your yard.

Things you'll need:
  • Plastic tarp
  • Metal tines rake
  • Garden gloves
  • Mulching lawn mower
  • 3 in one blower, vacuum and leaf shredder
  • Lawn and leaf bags
  • Volunteers: enlist family members to help with the leaf removal.

                    Get Organized
    Study the leaves in your yard to determine what products are needed to remove the leaves quickly.  

    For small or medium size yards, you will need a classic 20-30 inch metal tines rake. This rake is tried and true; it is efficient in removing leaves as well as aerating your lawn by removing thatch.  

    For larger yards use a rake or leaf blower to gather the leaves into piles and then vacuum the leaves into a leaf shredder.  Assign leaf removal duties to each family member.

    Get Focused
    Section off the yard, divide it into four’s.  The sections will keep you organized and you will not become overwhelmed with your yard work.  I prefer to start my leaf removal on the far left hand side of my yard and work toward the center. 

    Get Job Done
    Learn to use a rake properly.  In order to rake proficiently you must use both of your hands. Extend the rake out in front of you and then place the rake head down and over the leaves. You will then pull the leaves back toward you. 

    Continue pulling the leaves toward you to form a leaf pile in the center of your yard.  When all the leaves are compiled in the center of your yard you would then allow everyone to take a turn at playing in the leaf pile.  Now is the time to break for a hot chocolate and some homemade cookies. 

    Remove the leaves from your yard with tarp; if your city removes the leaves from the curb then transport the leaves to the curb with a tarp. 

     The best way to utilize the tarp is to lie it flat directly next to the leaf pile.  Move the leaves by raking them on top of the tarp or by flipping your rake over so that the tines face upward.  Everyone should help will scooping up the leaves and putting them on the tarp.  

    When the leaves are transported to the tarp you would then fold the tarp diagonally so that the leaves do not fall out when you move the tarp.  Drag or pickup the tarp and move to you curb.  

    Empty the leaves at the curb only if your city provides a leaf pick up. 

    If your city does not pick up the leaves then remove the leaves from your yard and gardens with a leaf vacuum/shredder or buy a leaf shredder and put the leaves from the pile into the shredder.  

    Use the recycled leaf mulch in your yard or add to your compost. 

    • Select a rake with a cushion handle this will prevent blisters.
    • Rake your yard when the leaves are dry. Wet leaves are heavier, and will be harder to remove.
    • Don't use leaf vacuum when leaves are wet, it will clog the vacuum.
    • Recruit volunteers to help with the leaf removal.  Spend the day with the family cleaning up the yard.  Take time to play in the leaf pile.
    • There will always be a few leaves remaining in your yard. Remove the leaves by running your lawn mower over them.

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