Autumn leaves on a yellow maple tree.
image by Pk2000: Wikimedia Commons
Autumn brings a beautiful array of colors among the trees. The season also brings a great amount of heavy-duty yard work. Leaf removal with a rake creates a nightmare for homeowners with busy schedules and little time. Enter the leaf vacuum. These handy yard waste machines help homeowners remove leaf debris from gardens, patios and hard-to-reach areas where a rake simply doesn't reach.
Disconnect the bag from the leaf vacuum and empty any debris from the collection bag. Reconnect the collection bag to the unit and tighten the clip completely. Leaf vacuums come in many model designs, including models that look similar to an indoor vacuum, and an over-the-shoulder variety that captures the leaves in a bag for disposal.
Plug an extension cord into the outlet and hook up the leaf vacuum's electrical cord. Allow enough extension cord to maneuver throughout the area that requires cleanup.
Set up your collection area with empty trash cans or leaf collection bags. You'll be dumping chopped-up leaves out of the collect bag frequently and setting up your trash containers will make the process much faster.
Put on an allergen mask, if necessary, to avoid inhaling leaf dust. Wear sunglasses or safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris. Unlike a normal vacuum, leaf vacuums tend to release a good amount of dust into the air that can get into your eyes.
Begin vacuuming. You should be able to run the vacuum over most surfaces, including grasses. Vacuum between plants and shrubs in your gardens, along borders, on patios or pool decks to remove as much debris as possible.
Dump the contents of the collection bag as soon as it gets heavy (for shoulder bag varieties) or when the vacuum tone changes to a higher-pitched whine.