How to Collect Your Raked Leaves Without a Leaf Blower

Illustration for article titled How to Collect Your Raked Leaves Without a Leaf Blower

Photo: Elena Elisseeva (Shutterstock)

My husband is on a roll this week. First, he dominated the lingering smell of our dog’s vomit escapades with this coffee grounds hack. Then, after eight fall seasons of living in this house, he finally figured out how to transport the leaves that cover the entire surface of our backyard to the street—by using a giant blanket as a method of transportation.

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He got the idea when he noticed a neighboring dragging a tarp full of leaves to the street from their own backyard. In our city, we have to rake and pile all our dead leaves along the curb, and a few times throughout the season the city sends a big truck around to vacuum them all up. We are a tarp-less family, unfortunately, but we do have some large moving blankets from when we moved to the East Coast from Phoenix (a city where people can smugly say the only thing they rake or shovel is sunshine).

He pulled one of those moving blankets out this week, raked a section of leaves off to one side of the yard, and laid the blanket down. He and our son then raked the leaves onto the blanket; once it was full, he gathered it by bunching each of the four corners together like a sack, carried it to the street, and dumped them into a pile. No more blowing dried leaves all over creation or trying to rake heavy, wet leaves across a long distance.

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If you don’t have a tarp or a moving blanket, use an old bed comforter, blanket, or bedsheet. Anything fairly light with a wide surface area on which to pile leaves will work just fine. If it’s too big to gather up into sack formation, simply drag it like our neighbor with his tarp.

If you live in a place where you need to bag up your leaves, rather than pile them, this trick can still work for you: Gather the blanket full of leaves up by all four corners, ready your bag and then release one of the corners, creating a narrow, controllable pathway to funnel the leaves into the bag without all the bending, scooping, and dumping you were doing before.

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