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Are there any alternatives to rakes for gathering leaves?

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In autumn fallen leaves can be harmful to grass, raking is the most common way to gather them up. Leaf and lawn rakes are perfect for raking leaves Possibly the most common way to remove fallen leaves from gardens and pathways is to rake them up. However, some people may not have a suitable rake or may find this a tiring and time-consuming task. There are a few alternatives to raking for gathering leaves.

Brooms

You can rake fallen leaves from gardens, from pathways you might want to use a broom to brush away leaves. Standard household brooms are often used to clear areas of fallen leaves. Brooms are particularly effective with dry leaves on flat, solid surfaces. However, brooms would not be suited to removing leaves from soil beds as the bristles can clog with soil and dirt very quickly.

Lawnmowers or mulching machines

Some lawn mowers can turn fallen leaves and grass cuttings to mulch to feed soil. This may be easier than raking lots of leaves Mulching machines, or lawnmowers with suitable blades, can be used to turn fallen leaves into mulch to feed soil. These need to be powered by electricity or petrol. Using a mechanical machine will be less labour intensive than raking. This may be an easier way to reduce leaf coverage on larger lawns but may not be suitable for thick layers of fallen leaves.

For more information see: Raking leaves vs. mulching leaves.

Leaf blowers

Leaf blowers can be used to gather piles of leaves, they may be more expensive but quicker than raking leaves Another alternative is a petrol or electrically powered leaf blower. This should be less time-consuming than raking, and may be less tiring, although the machines can be heavy to carry. They are relatively expensive to buy, can be costly to run, may be very loud, and are not good for the environment.

Garden vacuums

Leaf vacuums or garden vacuums can suck up piles of leaves. Raking leaves will be more work but will cost less You can also get machines called garden or leaf vacuums. They can usually be used to blow leaves into piles as well as suck them up into a collection bag. These machines need emptying frequently and can be heavy to carry, and even heavier when full. Garden vacuums can also be expensive to buy and require powering with petrol or electricity.

Lawn sweepers

Leaf sweepers collect leaves are you move them over the ground. Rakes can also be used to gather leaves from lawns and pathways These leaf collectors are powered by the rotation of their wheel as you push them by hand. They usually have larger bags than garden vacuums, so don’t need to be emptied as often. Again, these will be much more expensive pieces of equipment than rakes.

Lawnrakers

Lawn rakers, sometimes called electric lawnrakers can pick up leaves from lawns These are electric or petrol engine versions of the lawn sweeper. As well as raking leaves, they can be used for other jobs such as removing thatch and moss. The leaves, and other debris, is collected in a large bag as the machine is pushed across a lawn. Again, they are a lot more expensive to buy than hand rakes.

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