Garden

How to Use a Leaf Blower

Leaf blowers are the perfect solution for cleaning up the thousands of leaves that fall on your lawn, patio, driveway and decking during autumn. They save you hours of brushing and raking so you have more time to get on with the things you really enjoy.

A leaf blower is designed to help you gather all the leaves that are spread around your garden, allotment, driveway, patio or wherever it is you’re wanting to tidy up, into one place so you can easily scoop them into a container and dispose of them.

Sounds like a no-brainer, I know, but a friend of mine regularly watches council workers near his house use a leaf blower to blow the leaves to the side of the road and leave them there!

They never pick them up.

Here are a few simple tips for you when using a leaf blower:

  • If you’re working near your house, close all the windows and doors to stop stray leaves from getting inside
  • People inside the house will appreciate the closed doors and windows too – leaf blowers can be quite loud
  • Before you start, take a walk through the leaves and pick up any stray twigs and larger objects
  • When you’re working your way around the area, blow all the leaves towards one central point 
  • Don’t wait until you’ve been through the whole area – when the pile of leaves is large enough, pick them up
  • Have a leaf rake and container ready to pick up and store the leaves
  • As you work through the area, move around in an arc shape rather than a straight line
  • When you’re blowing leaves near a wall, run the blower along the wall rather than at it (this will stop mud and dirt splashing back in your face or all over your clothes)
  • Always work with the wind!
  • Always wear safety glasses and ear defenders to protect your eyes and hearing. Gloves, decent work boots and clothes should be worn as well. 

What do you do with all the collected leaves?

Once you’ve collected all the leaves, what are you going to do with them? If you’re a keen gardener, you should put them to work in your garden. If that’s not your thing, you’ll have to find another way of disposing of them.

Here are a few practical suggestions:

  • Put them on a compost heap
  • Make leaf mould
  • Use them as a mulch
  • Mow them into your lawn
  • Put them into your green waste recycling bin

How to choose the best leaf blower for you

Choosing the best leaf blower for you depends on a number of factors. Let’s look at some of them.

How large is your garden?

If you live in a typical urban home, you probably won’t have a huge garden, so while a cordless leaf blower might feel like a good option (it usually is), a corded leaf blower will suffice in most cases. Check the cable length of the machine you’re interested in to make sure you’ll be able to reach all parts of your garden. This kind of information is available on the box or in the specifications if you’re buying online.

How many leaves do you have (I don’t need an exact figure!)?

If you only have one tree in or near your garden, you won’t have as many leaves to clear up as somebody who has three trees, or who lives near a wood. If you only have a few leaves to clear up, get yourself a smaller but capable machine.

Think about storage

Typically, you only use a leaf blower during the autumn months, so when it’s not in use, which is most of the year, you’ll need to store it somewhere. Make sure you have enough space in your shed or garage to store the leaf blower.

Do you want a leaf blower that doubles up as a vacuum?

Some modern leaf blowers are capable of vacuuming and shredding leaves as you go. This is a massive time-saver and reduces your workload considerably. If this is a good option for you, consider the capacity of the leaf blower’s collection bag and its weight. You might also want to consider buying one with an over-the-shoulder strap.

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