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Easy ways to collect autumn leaves

By Adelaide Gray

During years of testing leaf blowers we've found some great techniques for making clearing leaves easy.

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Leaf blowers produce a concentrated jet of air to sweep leaves off surfaces, so you can form them into a heap. If you have a blower vac, it will also suck your collected leaves into a bag.

Below, we share our top tips for getting the best from either machine.

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Get the most from a leaf blower or blower vac

  • Leaf blowers are versatile machines. You can use them for clearing snow from your path and sweeping your drive. You can even blast dust and dirt from your car boot.
  • On the lawn, we find it best to blow leaves in a sweeping motion to clear large areas. Blow the leaves together to form big piles, then either use a lawn mower to collect them or switch to vacuum mode and suck them up.
  • Leaf blowers come into their own if you want to remove leaves from areas of gravel or flower borders. Blow them onto a hard surface where you can collect them easily.
  • If you’re blasting leaves off your patio, blow them onto your lawn and then mow to collect them.
  • You don’t have to rely just on the jet of air to free up leaves – most blowers are designed for you to use the end of the nozzle to give stubborn stuck-down leaves a little scrape.

Alternatives to a leaf blower

You might find that a decent broom is just as quick at removing leaves from hard surfaces. On lawns, a leaf rake is effective, but hard work. Avoid ones with metal tines as these will stab more leaves than they'll rake up.

Consider using your mower to collect leaves from the lawn. Put it on a high setting and it will partially shred the leaves as it collects them.

Leaf grabbers are an effective way of filling bags or the wheelbarrow. Alternatively, use the traditional method of two pieces of board.

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