Leaf Blower Best Practices

Leaf Blower Best Practices
  • Opening Intro -

    It's autumn!

    Fall means cooler weather, changing leaves and the end of major yard work until next spring.


Sure, throughout the winter you may find yourself picking up fallen branches and raking stubborn leaves, but come Thanksgiving your yard should be in for a long winter’s rest. You will enjoy that rest too.

In the meantime, you may be busy tending to your lawn as the leaves fall. Rakes work great, but when it comes to getting the bulk of your work done, only a leaf blower can tackle the deep piles that seem to gather overnight. Using a leaf blower requires keeping a few things in mind including your personal safety and that of any people in your work vicinity.

1. Now or later. It is so easy to connect your electric leaf blower or fire up your gas mower. You may even have a neighbor that brings his out the very moment a few leaves fall. This is absolutely unnecessary and even wasteful, creating a source of air and noise pollution that could be averted. If you have a small amount of work to do, use a rake and a broom, otherwise wait until you have a sufficient pile. Your neighbors will thank you!

2. Use a tarp. You need not blow every square inch of your yard to clean up. Instead, place a tarp, blanket or a sheet wide open in the center of your yard. Then, in a back and forth sweeping motion, begin to work towards the tarp. Once it has been filled, then drag the tarp to the street, leaving the leaves at curbside for town removal. Place the tarp in another area of the yard where leaves have gathered and repeat the process. This method will ensure that you use your blower less often and save your arm from aching later as well.

3. Bring out a rake. Leaf blowers do a great job, but there are some places where a rake is still necessary. If you are working around a garden, use a small rake to work between the plants. A leaf blower may be too powerful and knock over tender plants while a rake can be controlled to attack small areas. In some cases you’ll be donning gloves and reaching down inside of plants to free these of leaves.

4. Use the vacuum mode. Many leaf blowers also have a vacuum mode, perfect for sucking up leaves in tight areas or wherever leaf counts are manageable. Attach the bag portion to the blower, switch to vacuum mode and begin your work. If you have a lot of leaves, your vacuum bag will fill up almost immediately. This can quickly become tiresome as you will find yourself spending as much time emptying the bag as you use the vacuum.

Lawn Considerations

Once you use your blower to clear the lawn for one last time, bring out your rake again. Spend a few hours removing thatch, a process that will yield a better lawn come the following spring. And if you need a new blower, try to wait until the season is over to purchase one. Prices are lowest during the winter, when most people’s thoughts turn toward completing indoor projects.

Further Reading

Fall Clean Up: Tackling Leaves

Tree, Autumn Leaves & Disease Prevention



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Categories: Yard and Garden

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".