A great tip for collecting autumn leaves
Autumn is a wonderful time of the year. I love the way in which my garden is filled with beautiful shades of red, orange and gold as the foliage says goodbye for another year with a dazzling display of colour.
Though, as with all things in this world, Mother Nature gives with one hand and takes with the other. Whilst the riot of colour is stunning, the flip side is the massive leaf clearing operation that follows.
Last year saw me invest in a better set of leaf grabbers and leaf rakes to stay on top of keeping the garden tidy and my paths clear. It doesn’t take a lot of leaves to build up on a path, before it becomes very slippery. Should you be unfortunate enough to fall over, and I’m speaking from bitter experience now, not only is the ground hard but its ruddy cold too.
A friend of mine gave me a fantastic tip last week for making the dreaded leaf collecting task easier. He said that he just raises the blades on his lawn mower and mows the grass as normal. I looked at him for a few seconds to see if he was playing a trick on me.I can assure you he wasn’t.
"When you think about it, it makes perfect sense," he went on to say. You’re not cutting the grass... what you are actually doing is shredding the leaves on top of the grass and collecting them at the same time in the hopper at the rear of the mower. The great thing about this method is that the mower blades are effectively mulching the leaves, which speeds up the composting time. Now anything that can speed up taking garden waste and turning it into life-giving compost has to be a great thing.
Now I understand that I can’t mow my paths or patio so collecting the leaves by sweeping them up looks to be the easiest option. That said, you could invest in a good quality leaf blower that will help you herd the leaves into a nice neat pile for collecting, but as good as they are, they are a serious investment that you’ll only use for a few months of the year. That said, if you do make the purchase it will last for years to come. A bit like the now threadbare 1970s artificial silver Christmas tree that my mum brings out every year.
But as much as I’d love a shiny new leaf blower, I have a 10-year-old daughter who would like an iPad for Christmas and I’d rather see her happy. So using my brawn and not my brains, I will continue for this year at least to sweep leaves off my patio and paths and collect them using the giant leaf grabber hands from last year.
On a side note though, when my little girl is helping to collect leaves which, inevitably ends in a full scale leaf fight, the large leaf grabber hands certainly give me an unfair advantage in the battle. Not that I’d ever give them up, as her giggle is infectious when she’s covered in leaves.
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