11 November leaves.jpg
"November's sky is chill and drear, November's leaf is red and sear."    -   Sir Walter Scott

Here are some Tricks to help you conquer this vast amount of falling leaves:

Rake When It's Dry: Wet leaves are heavier than dry ones, so try to do your raking during a dry stretch of weather.

Work With The Wind: Try to pick a calm day but if you have no choice and the one day of the week you have to rake, happens to be windy, rake your leaves in the same direction that the wind is blowing.

Practice Patience: You can spot rake certain areas but why work harder than necessary, simply don't bother raking your whole yard until all the leaves are down.

Use The Right Tools: That rusty metal fan rake in your shed might not be the best choice for the job anymore, some great new raking tools are out there, such as the Lee Valley Power Rake, work easier and faster.

Use Proper Technique: Raking is a real workout and you should warm up your body by stretching before you start. Be sure to keep a good posture and stand upright. Switch your main (bottom) hand on a regular basis, and always bend at the knees (not the back) when you stoop to pick up a pile.

Work Smart: You don’t have to do all at once. Divide your yard into sections and work on them over a period of days. bRake your leaves into small piles on top of a tarp or a piece of plastic, then drag that pile to your main pile or compost.

Try A Mulching Mower: An effective way to clean up your leaves is by turning them into mulch that's bagged by the mower. If you don't like the environmental impact of gas mowers, there are some great electric mowers out there that have mulching capability.

Create Valuable Compost: A green alternative to burning leafs is shredding them with a mulching mower and will not only reduce their volume but also speed up decomposition time. You can add shredded leaves to your compost pile, and use the compost in the spring.

Use Leaves as Mulch: Shredded leaves make good mulch for garden beds and are less likely to blow around. The leaves will gradually turn into compost and enriching your soil. If you like the look of bark mulch better, cover bare soil with shredded leaves first, then apply a top layer of bark mulch but keep total mulch depth to three inches or less and don't let mulch touch tree trunks or the base of shrubs as this can encourage pests and disease.

Burning is Not an Option: It is illegal to burn leaves anywhere in New York State. The smoke from burning leaves contains dangerous compounds and it is especially harmful to children, the elderly and anyone with respiratory or cardiovascular disease. Not to forget that any outdoor fire can spark an accidental brush, forest or house fire.