Leaves, especially those of deciduous trees, present an annual workload to the landscaper and gardening enthusiast. Even though they may be used in composting, collecting them is frequently a labor-intensive task. There are some tools on the market that make it possible to collect leaves more effectively or even turn them into mulch on site. Tool selection depends on the number of trees, volume of leaves, the desired use for the leaves as well as the amount of elbow grease the gardener is able to extend.
Mulch consists of organic materials, such as wood chips or leaves and twigs. It not only recycles naturally occurring garden wastes but also protect plants against evaporation and extreme temperatures. Running across dry leaves with a rotary mower that features an attached bag creates a mulch made up of finer particles. This type of mulch is very effective for use in flower beds containing smaller plants. For the gardener with several trees within a lawn area, mowing leaves into the grass with a bagless rotary mower--set at a height of 3 inches--creates instant mulch that filters through to the soil in a matter of about two days, depending on rainfall. In this manner it gently fertilizes.
Pile up the leaves of deciduous trees with a leaf rake. Collect them in bags for transporting to a composting heap. Gardeners occasionally also spread these leaves as mulch around trees during the fall season. The leaf rake is a simple tool consisting of a number of tines that are connected by a bar, to which a handle gets attached. Raking leaves may be a labor-intensive chore, but it provides needed cleanliness in a yard area. Consider that bacteria, insects and fungi capitalize on the warm moisture that quickly builds up in a thick layer of leaves, especially when exposed to the elements. In addition, conscientious raking also prevents lawn grass and other plants from steadily becoming smothered by a growing layer of wet leaves.
The leaf blower is one of the most efficient tools the landscaper may use to remove leaves from driveways, patios, sidewalks and anywhere else they accumulate. Professionals frequently rely on the backpack version of this gardening tool. The homeowner who only has occasional use for the leaf blower usually purchases the hand-held model. In some cases, a hand-held unit also transforms into a vacuum; this option neatly bags the leaves for further disposal or processing. A corded electric or gasoline-powered engine provides the power for the tool. A battery-powered, cordless model is a good choice only for a smaller venue because it generally has less power and the charge quickly runs down.