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Leaf Cleanup
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


As autumn starts to show its colorful face, gleaming with changing leaves, the task of raking also arises. Instead of stressing over the strain and pain of raking, take a deep breath and follow some simple tips that will help you with autumns leaf clean-up.

Tips:

• Continue to mow your lawn into the fall. This gives you a chance to bag away the first load of leaves and mulch them down to size. Once your grass stops growing, it is suggested that you stop mowing your lawn.

• If you are attacking leaves in a dry area, or in hard to reach areas such as the roof, using a leave blower is an option. However, keep in mind that wet areas will not be affected by a leave blower, and gasoline-powered blowers are not environmentally friendly and often make a lot of noise.

• Before you begin to rake, you must first decide which leaves will stay and which leaves will go. Leaves under trees and shrubs can remain. These leaves will compost themselves, and when spring returns, you will not have to lay down as much bark mulch. Leaves covering the rest of your lawn must go if you expect healthy new grass to grow. Keep in mind; if you wait too long, you will get stuck with a much more difficult raking task.

• Be sure to select the proper rake. Consider investing in a clog free rake that will eliminate the extra time spent trying to clear out the leaves caught in the rake. Also, take the grip into mind. Certain rakes offer comfort grips. If you have back problems, rakes are available that are more ergonomically correct.

• Be cautious of your back when raking. Make sure that you are moving your feet around instead of standing in one place and bending your back too much. Also, be sure to switch hands often so that one arm isn't getting strained more than the other.

• After collecting all of the leaves, consider turning the leaves into compost. You can then use it for mulch or fertilizer in the spring.

• If you are going to bag the leaves up and haul them out for garbage, lessen the strain by using a wheelbarrow for transportation. Also, consider using a rake with a detachable head. This makes gathering leaves and clipping a lot easier.

• Last but not least, make the task of raking the yard a family event. This will lessen the strain off one person handling the task and even create a fun day for the kids to play in the leaf piles. Just make sure the kids don't destroy the piles that you have worked so hard to put together!

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