Save time on cleaning with these leaf-removal tips

Some of us would love to “leave” fall cleanup behind us and never look back. But it doesn’t have to be so backbreaking and time-consuming. Consumer Reports experts share three of their top tips to help you clear the leaves and fall back in time this autumn.

Consumer Reports has three leaf-removal tips to keep your fall cleanup in check. Coming in at No. 1 is an obvious but often overlooked tip: Avoid breezy days. Lots of people use weather apps to check things like temperature and whether there’s rain in the forecast, but it’s also a good idea to look for wind gusts before you start sweeping leaves.

Tip No. 2: Use a tarp to get those leaf piles from one spot to another, faster. After you’ve gotten the bulk of your leaves out of the way, take tip No. 3 from CR and shred them. Mulching your leaves solves three problems. For starters, it’s a great way to use up the leftover gas in your mower’s tank before winter storage. But it also helps get rid of your leaves and feeds your lawn. When you shred your leaves with a mower, they turn into a nutrient-rich compost for your lawn.

If you want to save even more time and effort, give your rake a break and consider a leaf blower. The Toro 51821 Leaf Blower at Home Depot, $190 ( $248 in Canada), clears leaves at an impressive speed. And because it’s battery-powered, it’s quieter.

For those who don’t mind being tethered to a cord, the Toro 51624 Leaf Blower at Home Depot costs less than a hundred dollars. At $70 ( $98 in Canada), the electric blower performs almost as well as the battery-powered model. It’s pretty noisy, though, so you’ll need to wear hearing protection.

CR says you can also use your mower’s bag attachment when you mulch your leaves and then use those clippings as bedding around your shrubs. Just be sure to clear away the whole leaves underneath first.

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