From the Pros: The Smart Way to Rake Leaves

From the pros


It’s fall, which means its leaf-raking season.

Some people enjoy raking leaves.

Other people…not so much.

A majority of homeowners don’t rake leaves properly. As a result, it takes them longer to clean up their yard than it should.

They also end up with sore and aching muscles too.

Professional contractors and yard maintenance service providers have smart techniques and tools they use to rake up numerous properties every day without wasting time or feeling too tired afterwards.

The next installment in our “From the Pros” series looks at tips on how to efficiently rid your lawn of leaves.

windy day

Pay attention to the weather

The pros won’t rake leaves in two types of weather:

  • Windy days: It’s much easier to rake leaves on a calm day with no breeze to contend with. But if you must rake on a windy day, rake in the direction the wind is blowing.
  • Wet, damp days: Wet leaves are heavier than dry leaves. Which means you’ll use more energy when raking and more leaf bags to store your mulch leaves or other debris.

Before you head outside to begin raking, make sure you check the weather forecast.

You might be eager to clean up your yard, but Mother Nature may have other plans in store.


Raking leaves is a great way to get exercise.

And like any exercise routine, warming up and stretching beforehand is crucial to ensuring you don’t hurt, pull or tweak anything while you’re working.

As well, the pros make sure they always follow these tips:

  • Keeping proper posture and standing upright (this means not slouching as you rake)
  • Swapping the bottom hand at regular intervals while raking
  • Bending at the knees (and not the back) when picking up and bagging leaf piles
  • Taking regular breaks and drinking water to remain hydrated

If you have a large property to clean, don’t try to do it all at once.

Instead, break it up into chunks and work on a different section every day.

bare tree

Wait until all the leaves fall down

The pros don’t try to “get ahead” by raking as soon as the first leaf falls.

Because they know that more leaves will fall, which means they’ll need to do even more raking.

What they do – and what you can do – is remove leaves from high-traffic areas of your property, like:

For the rest of your landscaping, make sure the trees are nearly bare before raking.

It’s much easier (and faster) to rake when it’s necessary vs. doing small amounts every other day or so.

leaf blower

The right tools for the job

That rusty metal rake that belonged to your great-grandfather may not be up to the job of raking your grass anymore.

In addition to a new rake, you may want to invest in some other tools to help you rake like a pro:

  • Leaf blowers: Instead of raking leaves to a certain spot, blow them there forcefully with a powerful leaf blower.
  • Mulching lawnmowers: A mulching mower will suck up your leaves, mulch them and store them into an attached bag. When the bag’s full, empty it, put it back on the mower and keep on going.
  • Heavy-duty power rakes: Power rakes have an extra-large grill that catches lots of leaves and won’t spill them. And its spokes are designed to slide nicely and evenly over the ground.

Use a tarp to move small leaf piles

Small leaf piles are much easier (and lighter) to move than large piles.

First, rake small piles on top of your tarp.

Then, when the tarp is full, drag it to your central leaf pile or composting location.

Prep for fall like a pro with Lane’s Landscaping Supplies

Raking leaves is just one part of your fall landscaping projects.

You may have some other fall tasks you want to take care of (like sealing your interlocking stone for the season).

Whatever you need to do this fall, do it like a pro with Lane’s Landscaping Supplies.

Contact us for a quote on any of our products, or to speak with one of our landscaping pros about your fall project.

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