No One

Leaf-Raking Lessons

Ever Taught You

It can take a few days or even a few weeks before all the leaves have fallen, but by waiting, you’ll only have to rake once.

1. Wait for leaves to  finish falling.

Rakes with narrow tine spreads gather fewer leaves and add unnecessary time to the chore, so choose varieties with a wider tine spread of about 30 inches.

3. Use the right rake.

Separate the lawn into quadrants, then rake all the leaves in each quadrant into rows, working from one end to the other.

5. Rake in rows.

When you’re done raking, tie the ends of the tarp together and transport the entire “bag” to a community collection center.

6. Save time and trouble  with tarps.

Unless you plan to rake the leaves into a large pile for the kids to jump in, it’s a good idea to bag them straight away.

7. Bag smaller piles.

Simply mow over the leaves with a lawn mower, ideally one with a mulching setting.

9. Mow and mulch  at the same time.

After a rainstorm, fallen leaves become soggy and dense, clumping together and clogging rakes, vacuums, and leaf blowers.

11. Rake before rain.

The bent shape of the tines is sufficient for grabbing and pulling the leaves.

12. Sweep gently.

Stomping on the leaves compacts them and helps keep most from blowing away before raking recommences.

15. Stomp before you take a break from raking.

The most natural and the most beneficial thing to do is to just let your yard be totally natural.

16. …Or don’t rake at all.

More on

Get the Newsletter

Sign up to receive the best tips and tricks, the latest news and giveaways, and the most inspiring home improvement ideas from Bob Vila, America's Handyman since 1979.