How to collect autumn leaves

Do it:

Sep, Oct, Nov

Takes just:

two hours

If you're faced with huge piles of fallen leaves every autumn, you can make the sweeping and collection process a lot easier by using a combination of different tools. Learn different methods of gathering autumn leaves, below, then follow our video guide to creating leaf mould in a leaf heap.

You will need

  • Lightweight leaf grabbers
  • Flat-tined plastic or rubber rake
  • Besom broom
  • Leaf blower
  • Woven plastic bags
  • Rotary lawn mower

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Use a lightweight pair of grabbers with long handles to collect a large amount of leaves at one time. Alternatively, two seed trays do the job just as well.

Choose a relatively gentle, flat-tined rake for sweeping leaves off the lawn and gravel areas of the garden on a daily basis.

A leaf blower - particularly one that also collects and shreds leaves - can be very useful (although some gardeners object to them on environmental grounds). Choose an electric one that can be switched from blowing to sucking. Leaving hedge bottoms  untouched to provide shelter for garden wildlife.

Leaves have a habit of jumping out of wheelbarrows when they are on the move, so load them into a couple of large bags. These are lightweight and easy to lift when full of leaves.

Finally, the most useful tool of all is a rotary lawn mower. If you are short of time, simply sweep up as many leaves as you can into the middle of the grass and mow over them. This chops them up and, together with the added grass cuttings, helps to accelerate the composting process.

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