Fall has fallen upon us! Many of us revel in the season’s many offerings – the autumnal weather, flavors, and fashions. However, one thing that may not inspire joy in the onset of this season is the arduous chore of removing leaves from the lawn. Fall colors in the landscape are beautiful, but if you have an abundance of deciduous trees in your yard, changing leaves may mean hours of potentially back-breaking work is in your near future. Not to worry! We’re here to guide you on this annual ritual and to help figure out the best leaf pickup options for your money.
Read more below to find out what leaf pick up option is best for your yard.
By far the most accessible option is of course the leaf rake. These are available at any hardware store for a reasonable price. While most rakes will cost around $20, there are a number of models out there flaunting features that make your old rake look like a cave tool. Look out for ergonomic shapes, telescoping handles for different lengths, adjustable heads to fit both tight spaces and wide ranges, and even rakes with grabbing functions that make pickup easy.
These features may render a rake a bit more expensive, but your back will thank you! Even so, raking is clearly the slowest and most strenuous method of removing leaves – a tradeoff for their affordability.
Price Range: $10-$50
Handheld Leaf Blower
If you want to take your fall garden chores to the next level, you may be considering a leaf blower. They make the job exponentially quicker and take all of the bending and tiring repetitive motion out of the task. This tool will absolutely be worth it if you have a relatively large yard, or are physically unable to pull a rake around.
The price point varies with the strength of the blower, so be sure to compare product specs and try them out if possible. The stronger the blower, the faster the job can get done. Leaf blowers can also help move out-of-place mulch, soil, or gravel back into their respective plant beds or paths.
Price Range: $120-$300
Backpack Leaf Blower
This type of blower is likely what you’ve seen professionals use in the field while wearing giant ear muffs. While this may seem like an extreme purchase, they certainly have their pluses. These blowers go on your back in part because they have heavier motors, which means more forceful leaf blowing. Landscapers use them because of their power, which can clear a huge property with ease. In addition, even though these machines are heavier, they can also be easier to carry, distributing the weight on your shoulders instead of having to be carried around like a handheld blower.
Price Range: $300-$600
Mulch Your Leaves With a Mower
Good news! You can actually save yourself the trouble of leaf-clearing by turning your leaves into mulch! All you need is a mower, which you likely already have if you have a lawn. Just take the grass catcher off of the back of your mower, and run through those leaves! The goal is to chop them up into small enough pieces to fall between blades of grass. This free mulch is great for your soil, your grass, and the ecosystem of your space! Also, it is always great to have tools that can serve multiple purposes. Mow away!
Price Range: Free
Hire a Professional
Rather not bother with your leaves at all? Then it’s time to bring in a professional landscaper. Outsourcing, of course, will cost you. The national average for this service is $356, but it widely varies regionally. This cost is also dependent on the size of your property and the exact services rendered. Having the leaves bagged and hauled away will come with an additional fee or leaf removal may be included in an annual landscape maintenance contract.
Price Range: ~$30/ hour, but will vary
With Fall comes crisp air and cool breezes, but picking up seemingly endless leaves can leave you sweating! Figure out the most cost-effective way for your home to complete this task, then relax with a hot cider when you’re done.
What else needs to be done in your yard this fall? Check out Tilly’s last minute guide!