The cooler weather is fast approaching and it will soon be time for the leaves to fall. While it is a beautiful time of the year, the sheer number of leaves falling into our gardens is enough to make any home owner despair. It really does feel like you are waging a fruitless battle for supremacy over these leaves. Just as you gather them together in a nice big pile, the wind whips up and scatters them once again.
So how do we win the battle and manage to keep the leaves where they should be, in the compost?
Always try to clean up leaves on a dry day. Leaves are more easily picked up when they are crispy rather than soggy.
Simply using a good stiff brush or a rake can be enough for small areas or when your garden is not as affected.
Remember to check guttering and drains for leaves too.
For larger areas there are machines which are perfect for making the job easier and quicker.
Garden leaf blower
These may seem quite pointless as they will only blow the leaves around. But in the right hands these can be very effective. Simply blow the leaves into a corner keeping the blowing attachment close to the ground. Best done on a day with little wind.
These ‘vacs’ come in various sizes and can be hand held, back pack or wheeled like a mower. Some will pick up the leaves and chop them making them perfect for the compost. Both electric and petrol types are available and come with large bags for collection of the leaves.
Many vacuums can have attachments added for extra versatility. Extension poles for cleaning guttering and getting awkward areas to the side of walls and different sized vacuum heads all make the job even easier.
Don’t forget that while leaves are an annoyance, they are great for adding to the compost. Ensure they have plenty of other garden and kitchen waste added to prevent a soggy mess and you will have plenty of great manure ready for the spring.
It’s not a fun job but very worthwhile. Your lawn will be able to breathe and will look much tidier. Thankfully it is only for a couple of months that we have to worry about leaves and then we know we can safely stay indoors for the winter.