How to Rake Leaves Into a Bag [10 Tips for Quick Cleanup]

To make raking and bagging leaves easier, pick a dry day to rake. Use a high-quality leaf rake with broad tines. Once your leaves are gathered into piles, you can use a pair of dustpans or leaf tongs to pick up leaves. It’s best to use sturdy, freestanding leaf bags or a plastic bag in a trash can to gather leaves and compact them. Instead of traditional raking and bagging, you can explore other options, such as using a leaf vacuum, lawn sweeper, or lawn mower with a bagger to collect your autumn leaves.

How to rake leaves into a bag

Should You Rake Leaves or Not?

It’s best to gather the leaves from your lawn. If you don’t rake them, the thick layer of leaves can smother your grass, as well as invite pests and lawn disease. By removing leaves before the winter season, you will experience a better spring green-up.

  • Rake leaves to prevent fall foliage from smothering your lawn.
  • After you rake your leaves, consider using them for compost or mulch.

Fallen leaves don’t have to be tossed away as trash. If the leaves are shredded into mulch they can be used to form a weed barrier in your garden beds or spread throughout your yard as a natural fertilizer. Consider composting bagged leaves as an alternative to throwing them away.

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10 Tips to Rake and Bag Leaves the Easy Way

Working a rake to move big drifts of leaves can be time-consuming, hard work. The good news is, there are several ways to make leaf raking easier, or get rid of the rake and try a new method altogether. Check out these tips to make fall cleanup a breeze

Choose a Dry Day

Dry leaves are easy to gather, whether you’re using a rake or any other method on this list. Wet leaves, on the other hand, turn raking into a slog and make everything more difficult. Once most of the leaves have come off the trees, keep an eye on the weather forecast. If there’s rain incoming, plan to rake as soon as possible. It’s better to rake up dry leaves before the trees are bare than wait too long and be stuck with a yard full of soggy leaves.

Get the Right Leaf Rake

When it comes to gathering leaves, not all rakes are created equal. Rather than a heavy, metal-tined leaf rake, choose this broad, plastic rake to quickly gather leaves with far less effort. When it comes to leaf raking, area is everything. A wider rake can gather more leaves in a single stroke, cutting your time spent raking in half. Of course, a comfortable grip and lightweight handle help make the job less taxing too.

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Use Leaf Bags

Few things are more frustrating when gathering leaves than a flimsy bag that tears or won’t hold its shape. Use this bag that stands on its own and won’t tear easily. Alternatively, use heavy duty plastic bags secured inside a trash can. Leaves take up a lot of space, so make sure you have enough bags to get the job done.

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Make the Most of Your Bags

Fall leaves raked into bags

If you loosely fill a bag with leaves, you’ll quickly run out of bags. In order to maximize space, use a trash can lid or other wide, flat object to pack leaves down into the bag as you go. This is where having sturdy bags pays off—they can handle it when you’re compacting leaves to fit more per bag.

Use the Tongs Method

Sometimes moving leaves from a neat pile to the bags is where everything goes south. All it takes is a stiff breeze to send leaves spinning across your newly-raked yard. To securely gather and bag leaves, use a pair of tools like tongs to gather the leaves and place them into bags. Although specialized leaf scoops are available, you can use a pair of dustpans or two rakes to control leaves on the way from the pile to the bag.

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Try Out a Trash Funnel

This trash funnel is one of our favorite leaf bagging products. It provides a frame that keeps your garbage bag open, so it’s easy to scoop leaves inside. Even better, it’s made to lie flat on its side. This means you can rake leaves directly into the funnel. This transforms bagging and raking into one step. No bending and scooping piles of leaves necessary!

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Mow Your Leaves

Mow leaves instead of bagging

Tired of raking and bagging leaves? Consider an alternative. Leaves that have been mowed over a handful of times will be shredded to small bits. Unlike whole leaves, these shredded leaves will decompose quickly to fertilize your yard for free. If your mower has a bagger attachment, use it to collect the shredded leaves for compost or garden mulch.

Invest in a Leaf Vacuum

Why not collect leaves and bag them all in one step, no rake required? With this leaf vacuum, you can remove the leaves from your yard and stow them in the bag attachment on the unit. Not only does this save time and materials, leaf vacuums are also great at removing leaves from areas where rakes won’t work. You can quickly clear leaves from gutters, gardens, and rocky areas with a leaf vacuum.

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Collect Leaves with a Lawn Sweeper

If you’ve got a big lawn with lots of leaves, raking can be a daunting job. In this case, a good lawn sweeper is the best tool for leaf cleanup. As you push the lawn sweeper across your yard, broom-like bristles turn, sweeping leaves into a collection bag. There are even tow-behind lawn sweepers that can be attached to a riding mower. A tow-behind sweeper will make quick work of large yards.

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Try the Tarp Method

Instead of bagging leaves, consider collecting them in a tarp. For this method, lay a tarp out on the ground and rake leaves into a pile directly on top of it. Then, all that’s required is for you to gather up the corners of the tarp and tie them together. This is the method used by many professional landscapers, since tarped leaves can be easily transported and disposed of.

How Do You Easily Put Leaves in a Bag?

To transform bagging big leaf piles from a big chore to a painless task, all that’s required are the right tools and techniques. Try these methods for easy leaf removal:

  • When possible, bag leaves when they are dry.
  • Use a broad, lightweight leaf rake to make the job easier.
  • Make use of sturdy, heavy duty leaf bags.
  • Compact leaves into the bags as you go, to save space.
  • Use a pair of dustpans or a leaf scoop to gather up leaves for easy bagging.
  • Invest in a trash funnel that allows you to rake leaves directly into bags without scooping.
  • Use a mower with a bagger to collect leaves instead of raking.
  • Try using a leaf vacuum to gather and bag leaves.
  • Gather leaves in a lawn sweeper to care for large yards.
  • Rake leaves onto a tarp, then tie the corners to gather leaves without using bags.

These methods will make your life easier, transforming a pile of leaves into a stack of neat bags in no time. From there, it’s up to you how you want to use those leaves in your compost pile or for natural garden mulch.

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