25/09/2015

Ways to collect leaves from different areas of your garden

If you have trees in or around your home then you are likely to be busy picking up leaves throughout the autumn. Fallen autumn leaves get everywhere, and they aren’t always the easiest of things to collect. That is why a variety of leaf collection equipment is needed when collecting leaves from different types of terrain in and around your property.

Equipment to collect leaves from grass. 

There are a variety of tools suitable for collecting leaves from your lawn. The cheapest tool available is a handheld garden rake. A flat tined plastic or rubber rake is best for collecting leaves from grassy areas and are generally inexpensive to buy. Regularly raking your lawn with a metal spring tined rake will be too harsh and will damage your lawn. While these are suitable for almost all gardens, owners of larger lawns with lots of leaves may find a handheld rake too physically demanding. An alternative is a grabber. A grabber is like a litter picker, but with a larger picking area allowing you to collect leaves. 

For people that prefer less hard work leaf blowers are perfect. Petrol and electric leaf blowers are available to buy in most good retailers. These excellent pieces of equipment collect leaves by blowing them into piles allowing the user to then pick up the leaves from a single location to dispose of. Electric leaf blowers tend to be lighter and quieter than petrol models making them suitable to residential areas. 

Garden vacuums or blower vacs as they are sometimes referred to, take this one step further and suck up the leaves from the grass and gather them in their collection bag. This allows the user to then empty the bag in the compost or garden waste bin. The best garden vacuums will not only collect the leaves, but shred them at the same time, reducing the number of times you need to empty your garden vacuum, and reducing the space required in your bin. It also makes the leaves the ideal size and ready to use in your compost bin. 

Another alternative is an electric lawn rake. Unlike a garden vacuum you use these much like a lawnmower and push it across your lawn. They tend to have adjustable raking heights allowing you to collect leaves of different sizes. The leaves are collected in a collection box which is detachable allowing the user to easily dispose of the leaves. 

Equipment to collect leaves from gravel. 

Collecting fallen autumn leaves from gravel can be a little tricky. The best way is to use a spring tine fan rake. The problem with leaf blowers and garden vacuums is that the more powerful ones will blow or suck the gravel up also, not only ruining your gardens look, but ruining your leaf blower / vacuum too. Before using any leaf blower or garden vacuum on gravel first read the manufacturer’s instructions for advice. A soft broom may also work. 

Equipment to collect leaves from delicate plants and bushes. 

When colleting leaves from around your plants it’s important not to break or damage them. The safest way is by hand, picking them up wearing a pair of gardening gloves. This can be backbreaking work. A broom made of twigs, sometimes called a witches broom can be the best piece of equipment to buy to remove the leaves from flowerbeds, before collecting them. 

Uses for fallen leaves 

Now you have collected all your fallen autumn leaves using the correct equipment it’s important not to throw them away. Fallen autumn leaves have a number of great uses and can help improve the health for your garden. 

1. Leaf mulch. Shred the leaves and add a layer 2 to 3 inches thick around your plants and flowers. This will offer great insulation to your plants and vegetables over the winter and when it breaks down act as a great soil conditioner. Leaf shredders are ideal if you have larger amounts of leaves to shred. 

2. Leaf mould. Shred your leaves and let them break down into leaf mould. Store them in a bin or in a shady area of your garden. Leaf mould is a great soil conditioner that helps the soil retain water and makes ideal living conditions for helpful animals like earthworms. 

3. Compost. Leaves are the perfect brown layer for your compost bin. Store them during the autumn and winter months so you have a regular supply of brown organic material for your compost heap.

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