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A lazy girl's guide to cleaning up fall leaves

Melissa Dunlap is a writer, editor and blogger specializing in lifestyle communications. Fueled by curiosity, and a tad too much coffee, Melissa enjoys dissecting current trends for the modern woman. When she's not having dance parties w...

I love the look of fall foliage...until it's scattered throughout my lawn. See my tips for tackling the pesky chore of cleaning up leaves this autumn.


I love the look of fall foliage...until it's scattered throughout my lawn. See my tips for tackling the pesky chore of cleaning up leaves this autumn.

We are fortunate enough to live an area with plenty of big beautiful trees. While I love the greenery in the summer and even enjoy the changing leaves in the fall, raking them all up of the ground can be a major bummer. It's easy to think of raking leaves as some fun fall activity where you end the day with hot cocoa and sure, it can be good exercise, but really? Raking leaves just isn't my cup of tea.

Here are my tips for cleaning up fall leaves the easy way:

1. Knock out the chore weekly. Don't wait until ALL the leaves have piled up a foot high in your yard. Tackling this chore weekly makes sure you stay ahead of the game. Plus, HGTV landscape pro Chris Lambton told me that since leaves are acidic they can cause your lawn to yellow if left on too long. And your grass still needs some sunshine in the fall.

2. Forget raking. The easiest way to pick up leaves? Let your mower do the dirty work. Set the level on one of the higher settings so that it can pick up the layer of leaves and let the blades shred it to bits. Do this without a bagger on the mower and you'll have instant fertilizer for your lawn. Or, collect the shredded leaves in a bag to put to use in other places.

3. Spread the love. Here's what to do with the shredded leaves you bagged:

  • Spread as mulch for your perennial garden

  • Add it do the compost pile

  • Mix it in with your vegetable garden to decompose over winter


Who needs a rake? With these easy tips, cleaning up leaves will be done in a snap.
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