Anyone who has ever had an oak tree on their property knows that learning to use a leaf blower will save your back from the leaf raking blues. With two 165+ year old oak trees on my property, I have over a ton of leaves each year so I've learned some tips and tricks to using a leaf blower - mostly effectively.
There's nothing more annoying than corralling your autumn leaves into a nice pile only to have a gust of wind come along. You can almost hear God laughing. So, check the weather forecast and make sure there's little wind forecast for the leaf blowing day.
This means that it's a whole lot easier to move around dry leaves than those that are wet underneath. On top of picking a windless day, pick a day where there have been at least 4 days of dry weather. To test the moisture level of your fall leaves, aim your leaf blower at the bottom of a pile and blow. If the bottom is wet, grab a beer and wait for a dryer time slot.
My driveway pad is 40x50 so trying to blow leaves starting from the middle only makes piles about 6' tall at the edges. Instead, a good leaf blowing technique is to clear the edges of your autumn leaves and then separate about 6' of new leaves from your remaining pile and blow them all the way to the edge again.
You'll be stirring up sticks, pieces of leaves, and assorted sundries as you work your leaf blower so make sure you eyes are protective. If you abhor safety glasses (like I do), put on some sort of protective lenses, such as sunglasses to protect your eyes from flying debris.
There's nothing quite like working up a sweat out there and taking a big of swig of leaf strewn beer. Oh, it can be drunk (believe me) and, in fact, after 3 or 4, you'll sort of crave the extra fiber the autumn leaves provide, but it's best to keep your beer in a leafless area.
Leaf blowing techniques differ depending on the amount of leaves and the area into which you're blowing them. The above leaf blowing techniques work well for a lot of leaves and a flat area on which to dispense them. Blowing them unhill represents more than a 3-4 beer challenge so stock up.
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