How To Get Rid of Leaves Without Raking

In this article I will look at how to get rid of leaves without raking, using other implements rather than using the traditional hand rake.

Why bother to lift the leaves from your lawn?

It is a good idea to lift the leaves from your lawn because if the leaves lie on the grass for too long they will rot and block out the light to the grass and eventually lead to the grass dying.

It is better to try and lift the leaves when they are dry as they will be light and easy to move. If you try to lift them when they are wet and soggy they will break up into mush and they will be much more difficult for you to move.

There are various other ways to lift the leaves from your lawn:

1. Use your lawn mower

If you already have a lawnmower with a collecting bag then this is one way to collect your leaves. You simply use your lawnmower as if you were mowing your lawn and the mower blades will lift the leaves up off the grass and blow them into the collecting bag.

There are limitations of using your mower to do this though. If there are a lot of leaves lying on the grass the mower may push them in from of it and struggle to lift them all.

This method is only really suitable if you you have a few leaves on the the grass- it doesn’t really work if your lawn is absolutely coverered in them.

2. Use your mower to mulch the leaves and let the clippings fall into the soil below.

Again this method works best if there are a few leaves on the ground. If you are mulching anything – grass or leaves it works best if there is only a few leaves or shorter grass.

When the grass is long or isf the leaves are very deep the mower will struggle to cut and chop finely and the most of what you are cutting will be left in an unsighly mess on top of the grass.

3. Use a lawn vacuum 

The lawn vacuum works really well when the leaves are dry but not so well when the leaves are wet.

The best thing about the vacuum is that it puts them into the attached bag which allows you to carry the leaves away to the side for use in a compost heap or similar.

Many people will tell you that you should mulch the leaves back into the ground as this provides feed for you lawn.

This is true, but for many lawns there are usually way too many leaves to do this with and they don’t get to fall down between the blades of grass and end up as a mess on top of the lawn.

It is a much better idea to keep your leaves for a composter and you can use the compost in a vegetable garden or for potting plants or even around the roots of trees.

The image of the lawn vacuum shown above is one that is made by WORX called a TRIVAC and it has three functions in one. It can be used as a lawn vacuum, a leaf blower or as a mulcher (obviously when in vacuum mode). It comes with a 10 gallon bag which is quite a bit bigger than some of the others on the market.

I think this is a really great tool, which would be really handy to have around the house.

I have heard a lot of really good reviews about this machine – people with less storage really like that they don’t have to buy more tools and the fact that you can bring it out after mowing the lawn to tidy clippings, which can be gathered into the bag is a big plus.  

4. Use a leaf blower 

This method using the leaf blower (article on leafblowers) is a commonly used method and is a great way to move leaves into a pile before lifting – again as with the vacuum it is best used on dry leaves.

I would then lift them and put them into my composter for use elsewhere.

The benefit of a leaf blower over a vacuum is that it is quicker to clean up after doing many jobs, such as clearing grass clippings, small stones and small bits of soil or compost.

5. Use a leaf and lawn sweep

A leaf and lawn sweep is an amazing piece of kit, which i would strongly recommend getting for anyone who has a lawn. It is one of the easiest ways to collect leaves or grass clippings, and is so easy to use – you will use it all the time.

A leaf and lawn sweep is a thing that looks like a push lawn mower but instead of having a rotary blade inside it, It has a rotating rake which lifts the leaves and grass and throws it into the collecting box.

I said it would be the easiest because you can get them in either manually push versions but you can also get them in a pull behind a tractor mower version, which means you could sit on the tractor and trail it up and down the lawn- what could be easier than that..

The limitations of a lawn sweep is that you need to be careful when selecting which manufacturer / brand you purchase. There are many which perform really well but there are also some which are not so great and they could end up frustrating to use as you could be going back and forward over the same patch trying to collect the same stubborn leaves.

The one i advise my friends and family to get is made by a company called Agri-Fab. I own this one and have been using it at home for years. It is 26″ wide and is really well made.

My recommendation 

  • Few leaves and small sized lawn – I would either use my existing mower if fitted with a collecting box or use a vacuum.
  • Lot of leaves and small sized lawn- I would use a vacuum.
  • Few leaves on a larger sized lawn – I would use a leaf blower to round the leaves up and a vacuum to collect them.
  • Lot of leaves and large area- Due to the larger sized area, I would use a lawn sweep to lift and collect, and then either a leaf blower or vacuum to tidy up the small bits.
  • Using a leaf blower on its own to gather leaves would be time consuming on a larger area. The leaves will build up and be harder to move along.
  • You would end up leaf blowing a small area then collecting and so on- this is very labour intensive on large areas.
  • The lawn rake will collect the bulk of everything from the seat of your tractor mower and then you can tidy the few the rake didn’t collect with a leaf blower or vacuum

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