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How to collect autumn leaves

You will need

  • Lightweight leaf grabbers
  • Flat-tined plastic or rubber rake
  • Besom broom
  • Leaf blower
  • Woven plastic bags
  • Rotary lawn mower
Do it: autumn
Takes just: two hours (depending on quantity of leaves)

Overview

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.


How to do it

Close-up of a gardener holding a grabber, containing autumn leaves

1

Buy yourself a lightweight pair of grabbers with long handles. Some gardeners find giant plastic handles adequate, but grabbers are more versatile and reduce the amount of bending down involved.


A plastic rake, raking autumn leaves

2

Choose a relatively gentle, flat-tined plastic or rubber rake for sweeping leaves off the lawn and gravel areas of the garden on a daily basis. A metal-tined rake is too harsh to use that often, particularly on grass.


A gardener using a besom broom to sweep up autumn leaves in an ornamental border

3

For whisking large leaves away from delicate plants, use a besom, or witch's broom, made from a bundle of twigs tied to a handle.


Leaf blower

4

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 and other untidy corners untouched will help provide essential shelter for garden wildlife.


5

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


6

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.




Discuss this project

Talkback: How to collect autumn leaves
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mjtclayton 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I use a childs snow shovel with a flat tined rake makes picking up easy.

Sadlin 05/11/2012 at 17:55

The greatest way I know for collecting leaves is a method my father taught me. Take a reasonably sized tarp and lay it flat out on the ground. Rake the leaves onto the tarp to a desired amount. Gather together the four corners to form a large sack. Drag this "sack of leaves" along the ground to the compost.
The tarp method works well with collecting and disposing of shrub cuttings, hedge trims etc.
Absolutely the best, cheapest and easiest way for collecting!

Alina W 05/11/2012 at 22:49

Or use an old sheet, like we do, and blow the leaves onto it with a leaf blower

mjtclayton 31/08/2013 at 15:04

I now have a better way, use my children and tell them it's a game

Kathy 2 01/09/2013 at 13:56

I use the lawnmower, even on the patio!! It makes it much easier and it chops up the leaves as well so they "do their thing" quicker. 

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