The seasons are changing, and the beautiful, brightly colored leaves signifying the arrival of autumn have dropped from the tree and swirled to the ground. Now, they create a multi-colored blanket over your once-pristine lawn. While they’re certainly a pretty sight, cleanup is necessary to keep your grass healthy.
However, perhaps you were busy and couldn’t get to the fallen leaves right away. Now, they’re soaked from the heavy rain or early snowfall yesterday. Unfortunately, wet leaves aren’t as easy to remove as dry, light leaves.
So, what is the best way to remove wet leaves? Can you use a leaf blower to get rid of them? This article discusses a few different ways to approach the task of removing fallen leaves, so stick around to learn more!
How Do You Get Rid Of Wet Leaves?
Wet leaves can be a nuisance – they’re considerably heavier than dry leaves, so removing them is quite the process, regardless of how you approach them. For the most part, you can use the same methods as you’d use on dry leaves. However, some of these methods might not work as well.
If you don’t want to fight with the sheer weight of the leaves, consider waiting a few days to give them time to dry out. The weather might not be in your favor, so if the forecast holds just rain, it’s up to you whether you want to wait it out and give the leaves dry time or just get the process over with.
Will A Leaf Blower Work?
A good-quality, high-powered leaf blower shouldn’t have any issues removing the heavy mass of wet leaves from your lawn. The process will probably be considerably slower than normal, but you can complete the task with a leaf blower.
In most cases, a leaf blower is the fastest, most effective way to approach the project. This is usually the best way to tackle wet leaves for large lawns.
After you get the leaves in a centralized location, you’ll need to bag them. Remember, wet leaves are much heavier than dry leaves, so packed bags of wet leaves will be surprisingly heavy. The leaves won’t dry if you tie off the bag, so leave the bags open and allow them to dry before moving them if they’re too heavy to handle.
Lawn vacuums can be an excellent way to remove leaves from your lawn. To remove damp or wet leaves, you’ll need a high-powered vacuum. Otherwise, the vacuum might not generate enough power to lift the heavier leaves.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of bagging the leaves later on, this is a great way to deal with the project. Of course, the added weight of the water on the leaves will make the vacuum heavier, but you can empty it as you go.
A good, old-fashioned rake is always an option for cleaning your lawn. Of course, not any rake will do – you’ll need a special leaf rake designed to handle both wet and dry leaves. The tines on these rakes are shorter and closer together, usually featuring durable fiberglass handles.
They’re designed to handle the extra strain of raking wet leaves, so you shouldn’t have any issues collecting the wet mass. A traditional rake, especially those with widely spaced tines or plastic construction, isn’t usually robust enough to handle raking leaves. The spacing between the tines often allows the leaves to slip through, preventing you from efficiently collecting them.
If you decide to rake the leaves, you’ll have to collect them once you’re done. Rake the leaves into a central location, then bag them once you’re done. Remember to leave the bag open to let the leaves dry out. The bags of wet leaves will be heavy, especially if you pack them in there, so be careful not to hurt yourself (save your back from the pain). Leave them there and let them dry out a bit before trying to lift them.
A lawn sweeper is an excellent way to remove leaves and other debris from your lawn. However, lawn sweepers work best when clearing dry leaves. So, if you don’t mind waiting for the leaves to dry out (and the weather is on your side), you could wait a few days and use a lawn sweeper to remove the debris.
These tools use a bristled brush that rotates and sweeps debris from the lawn into a collection area (an attached bag). You can find walk-behind and tow-behind varieties. Tow-behind models connect to a riding lawn mower and will pick up debris as you move across the lawn. Walk-behind models work the same but require you to push the device to pick up debris.
Mowing wet leaves usually isn’t the best way to approach the process of removing the leaves, but it might be a good option if you want to mulch them and add them to your compost pile. However, it’s essential to remember that wet leaves can cause issues for your mower.
It’s usually best to mow over dry leaves, but if you’re set on mowing while the leaves are wet, ensure you proceed with caution. To avoid clogging the mower or causing other issues, follow these tips:
- Raise the lawnmower blades: Using the same mowing height you usually use can damage your mower when your lawn is covered in wet leaves, so it’s essential to raise the mower blade height. The leaves can stress the machine, damage the mower, and dull the blades. So, raise the blades until they’re barely touching the grass. Work your way down to the regular cutting height until all of the leaves have been cut.
- Regularly check for clogging: Wet leaves are prone to clogging – they stick to everything, including the underside of your mower. This can impede the mower’s performance, so remember to check for buildup regularly.
- Use silicone spray: Since wet leaves are particularly sticky, you can use silicone spray to help prevent them from building up inside and on your lawnmower. It’s not the most ideal approach, but it will help limit the number of times you need to clean your mower throughout the process.
- Cut in several sessions: If there are a lot of wet leaves clogging your lawn, you might want to mow in a few sessions. This will reduce the strain on your lawnmower, as it won’t have to contend with everything all at once.
- Mow frequently: Avoid letting too much time pass between sessions, as allowing the leaves to pile up can cause issues when you try to mulch the leaves. Mowing more frequently prevents this issue.
- Cut half of the leaves in every pass: To give your mower a break, cut fewer leaves on each pass. Overlap each pass halfway onto the previous pass, where the leaves are already cut. This will help reduce the stress on the mower.