DUKE CANNON’S LEAF RAKING 101 – Duke Cannon

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DUKE CANNON’S LEAF RAKING 101
It’s that time of year again, when reduced sunlight and colder temperatures cause trees to slow their production of auxin (yes, we looked that up) and shed their canopies. It is indeed a beautiful sight, but this wonder of nature does come with a price for homeowners: raking. No one really likes this chore, but there are ways to make the process less painful. Here are some thoughts on how to best manage the autumnal abscission (yes, we looked that up too).

CALL IN REINFORCEMENTS
The need for extra manpower in matters of leaf abatement simply cannot be overstated. You are outnumbered by the leaves, and evening the odds, even by a mathematically minuscule margin, will help both physically and psychologically. If you have offspring, this is a no-brainer. Yes, they will gripe the entire time, but just file it under “character building.” If you don’t have kids, consider hiring some. Or, call some buddies and fortify them with pizza. The point is, leaves are a problem best solved by throwing bodies at it.

CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON
There is certainly no shortage of rake merchants in the marketplace, all claiming that they alone possess the trailblazing secret that will reduce your toil. In our view, raking success all boils down to whether you go with steel or plastic tines. So consider factors such as terrain, preferred grass length, whether or not there are pines on or adjacent to your property, etc. before making your decision. And don’t neglect handle length: your back and shoulders will thank you.

WEAR GLOVES
We are not here to advocate for a particular brand per se (although you cannot go wrong with a pair of classic yellow cowhides), but instead just wish to be clear that if you don’t wear gloves when raking, you will spend the days that follow tending to a thriving crop of blisters.

HYDRATE
Water, beer, coffee with a healthy splash of whiskey—there is no wrong answer here.

SAY HELLO TO THE LAWN CHUTE
A somewhat recent innovation in leaf circles, the plastic lawn chute is a game changer for those who use recyclable paper bags for their leaves. This foldable sleeve slides inside the bags to keep them upright, and best of all, the top functions like a basketball backboard, helping to ensure the leaves go where they are supposed to even if your FG percentage is suspect.

WAIT THEN MOW
On the surface this seems lazy, but we must admit there is a certain wisdom in this approach. You wait for all the leaves to fall, then simply mow and bag them. Just be aware that this tactic comes with reputational risks, as in the weeks preceding the mow, your leaves will blow into the yards of your neighbors, clearly branding you as a scoundrel. The choice is yours.

HARNESS WIND POWER
Opinions are sharply divided on the leaf blower in neighborhoods. The mechanics are certainly to be respected, and they are effective and efficient machines (full disclosure: we love ours). But there is no two ways about it, they are loud devices. And while we have spoken at length on this topic in the past, it bears repeating here: never before 9:00 am.

Source link: https://dukecannon.com/blogs/journal/duke-cannons-leaf-raking-101 by Zeb Pirkey at dukecannon.com