Fall is here and that means there are plenty of leaves to rake up in Maryland. To make sure that you don’t spend all day raking leaves, we have provided some helpful leave-raking tips in this article.

When to Rake Leaves?

Choose a day that isn’t windy so that the leaves won’t fly away. Some lawn care experts recommend first mowing over leaves on the ground to chop them into smaller pieces. This is an added step to a raking plan that will help cut down on leaves flying away, should wind gust up. It is also helpful if you want to compost old leaves or use them as mulch.

Aim for raking leaves before the first frost or snow of the winter season. You can rake whenever leaves have fallen on the ground, but waiting until later in autumn, when most leaves are off trees, is the best time to make your raking chore one and done. The drier the leaves the easier it will be to rake them up. 

Choose a Rake

You can choose a metal or a plastic rake. The type that will work best for you depends on which rake you are most comfortable with. The rake’s handle is also important. If you’re tall, you will want to choose a rake with a longer handle to prevent your back from constantly bending over.

A wide, plastic rake makes a strong, easy sweep through drier leaves.  

A metal rake with a spring joint at the head allows for a firmer dig into damper leaves with more precision.  

Decide which is best based on the area you need to rake and the outdoor conditions. Wear gloves when you rake and consider a rake with a cushioned handle to best protect hands from repetitive stress.  

Don’t Rake After it Rains

Wet leaves stick together, making it difficult to collect them with your rake, yard vacuum, or leaf blower. Leaves are much easier to rake and dispose of when they are dry.

Use a Leaf Blower or a Yard Vacuum

When operated properly, a leaf blower can help cut down on the time spent raking leaves. Divide your yard into sections, create a grid layout, and then work backward from the house.

Mow and Mulch

You can mow over leaves with a lawn mower, preferably one with a mulching mode, to add mulch to your lawn. This also speeds up leaf decomposition and provides more nutrients to the grass.

Rake Leaves in a Grid Pattern

You can save some time by separating your lawn into quadrants and raking in a grid pattern, rather than a linear one. This allows you to go quickly from one end to the other, rather than raking leaves into the middle and then going back and forth.

Bag Leaves Right Away

If you want to save time and avoid having your hard work undone by a crisp fall wind, you should immediately bag up the leaves. Don’t have time to bag them right away? Try stomping on the pile to compress the leaves and prevent them from blowing away.