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A Nifty Trick for Gathering Leaves

I forget this trick every year, it seems. But I remembered in time for the last leaf raking of the year. The first thing you should know is that we collect and keep our leaves as mulch. (There are assets and liabilities to using leaves as mulch but they’re best discussed elsewhere.) I think the trouble comes because I keep thinking about leaves with the old fashioned mindset as something to throw away. What this means is that I usually end up collecting them in trash cans and then lugging the trash cans to the garden bed. This is difficult physical work, both the bending over to lift the leaves into the cans as well as carrying the leaf-full cans.

But if you’re going to spread the leaves immediately on your garden beds, then there’s no need to use a trash can at all. Use a tarp. Rake the leaves into a pile as usual, then rake them onto the tarp. Roll the tarp up like a big burrito and it’s ready to move. It’s easiest if you’ve got a partner to grab the other end but as long as there isn’t much wind, you can just pull the tarp along behind you.

We left raking the final batch of leaves until tonight, until the final moments of daylight for that matter. But using a tarp for collection helped us finish up in very short order. Just in time too. About an hour after sundown, a gentle snow started to fall.

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