12 Rules of Raking


| 10/21/2008 1:27:41 PM


Tags: sustainable living, leaves, raking, yard maintenance, fall,

mowerLeavesRake
1. Always rake with the wind, and rake downhill whenever possible.

2. Share the wealth with your lawn. When the first leaves alight on a still-green lawn, mulch-mow to return the leaves and grass clippings to the soil. In addition to helping your lawn, it's easier to rake turf areas that have been smoothed over by a good mowing.

3. Use your mower to shred leaves to use as mulch or in compost. Set aside whole leaves in a separate pile, and deal with them later when you have more time.

4. Mix leaf species. Leaf-eating microorganisms that get started on thin maple or dogwood leaves will move on to thicker oak leaves as the mixture decomposes.

5. Don’t pick up leaves unless you must. Instead, collect leaves in a tarp or an old sheet, pick up the corners, and carry or drag the bundle to your piles.

6. Match your rake to your leaves, and to your body. At stores, try rakes on for size before you buy. Rakes with metal tines last longer than plastic ones, but plastic tines may be lighter.

fenris
11/5/2017 10:12:49 AM

Living under a dense canopy, I used to wonder what to do with all the chopped up leaves the HOA insisted I clean off the lawn. Fast forward and now I have a 25x25ft community garden plot --annuals only :( -- which I cover with shredded leaves for over-wintering and 2x tillage by next spring. Suddenly I have shortage of leaf mulch for my yard! Now to figure out how to keep worms in the garden plot.


fenris
11/5/2017 9:53:59 AM

Living under a dense canopy, I used to wonder what to do with all the chopped up leaves the HOA insisted I clean off the lawn. Fast forward and now I have a 25x25ft community garden plot --annuals only :( -- which I cover with shredded leaves for over-wintering and 2x tillage by next spring. Suddenly I have shortage of leaf mulch for my yard! Now to figure out how to keep worms in the garden plot.


jerrycartwright
11/2/2017 8:56:26 AM

I'm 54 years old and have raked my fair share of leaves and must say that I can't remember enjoying any of them. LOL Also, this year I had a guy let me borrow one of the sweepers that pulls behind a mower and hand's down, that is the absolute easiest way to "rake" leaves. I will be purchasing me one in the future.


daylem007
11/1/2017 3:40:28 PM

Mark Cullen (leading garden guru), recommend that you dedicate 5% as a minimum of your land to "decay and rot" to allow micro organisms, and insects that provide the life cycle necessary secure biodiversity. Europe has already taken steps to put up insect hotels to help dwindling species revive from the manicured lawns and weeded gardens. You will be rewarded with diverse native and migrating species of birds, butterflies, insects and wildlife. It is already very seriously needed according to David Suzuki for each of us to take momentous action towards bringing a balance of biodiversity by providing habitat for native species. Please take action. Be proud and boast!


kathy s.
11/1/2017 12:38:23 PM

Unless you have an HOA that insists you rake the leaves it’s in the best interest of wildlife including insects and other pollinators to leave them on the ground, at least until May. Grubs are under the leaves for birds to eat and makes a great soil amendment. And above all the leaf litter acts like a sponge, soaking up enormous quantities of rain water during downpours. Without the leaf litter water runs off flooding everywhere including our homes. Bare lawns do none of this. Better yet, work towards planting native plants and trees and get rid of the lawn .


kaschlenz
11/1/2017 12:37:35 PM

Unless you have an HOA that insists you rake the leaves it’s in the best interest of wildlife including insects and other pollinators to leave them on the ground, at least until May. Grubs are under the leaves for birds to eat and makes a great soil amendment. And above all the leaf litter acts like a sponge, soaking up enormous quantities of rain water during downpours. Without the leaf litter water runs off flooding everywhere including our homes. Bare lawns do none of this. Better yet, work towards planting native plants and trees and get rid of the lawn .


lori.byron
11/1/2017 10:11:36 AM

I pile them on my garden beds, atop the cut up plant remains from the growing season and then sprinkle them with the compost pile contents so they do not blow away. They decompose over the winter.


macskayak
9/15/2017 7:47:30 AM

I am fortunate to live near the ocean. I often go to the beach along the bay and pick up seaweed that builds up after an autumn or winter storm. This adds trace minerals to the garden. I put the sea weed in 5 gallon buckets and then, empty them into a larger plastic barrel in the back of my pickup. And I get the sun on my face as a bonus. Chases away the winter blues on many levels!


sandra_goth
9/13/2017 8:28:01 AM

Great body saving tips


J.P. Becker
11/14/2008 8:28:54 PM

I prefer to rake leaves instead of mechanical means. A fine fall day spent raking is true therupy for a weary mind and good wholsome, low impact exercise. For raking on lawn, a good quality split cane rake is my choice,(beware when buying one, I've seen some that wouldn't last one season),when working on hard surfaces such as paved or gravel, metal tines are best. If you have shrubs,a small rake designed for tight spaces comes in handy. If you enjoy growing your own food , as we do , then raking leaves becomes another form of harvest. The harvest of future organic matter to richin the soil in your food plots and gardens. J P Becker, Swiss House Farm , Riverton CT


Bettina Sparrowe_1
11/7/2008 10:09:49 AM

To make raking easier be sure to mow the grass first.


Lori S
10/29/2008 6:52:06 PM

We used to live on a property with massive amounts of leaves to pick up in the fall. The whole family would rake leaves onto tarps and slide them into the chicken run. The chickens would scratch and break down the leaves, add a little fertilizer of their own, and by the next spring I had wonderful mulch and compost. Kinda miss those trees now...


JAMES Sharber
10/29/2008 1:24:30 PM

I've tried all of the leaf raking/elliminating tricks and still find the job a downer in the fall. I do have almost a closed canopy of big oaks, hickories and tulip trees which get bigger every year and hence drop more leaves. One strategy that is running slowy out is to let parts of the landscape revert back to natural cover. I can do that where I am but understand it's probably not an option for everyone. There is this problem too, in high mast production years you have a yard covered with acorns and nuts far too plentiful to be gleaned by wildlife. Next job, mowing down all the seedlings in 2009.


Rosewood513
10/29/2008 12:42:26 PM

I keep a totally organic lawn and when I mow over the leaves and grass I take a few of the bags to my chicken run and dump them there. They love to scratch and play in the leaves and eat any bugs or seeds hidding there. They can devour 2-3 bags of greens in less than a week. It keeps them busy and cuts down of feed cost, I ony have 5 hens, the rest I just toss where needed.





mother earth news fair

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, hands-on workshops, and great food!

LEARN MORE