How to Use a Tarp for Leaves [5 Effortless Steps]

Collecting and moving leaves can feel like an incredibly daunting task. Using a tarp to move the leaves will make the process a lot easier.

To use a tarp to collect leaves:

  • Compile the leaves in one area of your yard.
  • Choose the best size tarp for the number of leaves you need to move.
  • Lay the tarp flat on the ground near the piles of leaves, holding down the corners with something heavy if there is wind.
  • Rake or blow the piles of leaves onto the center of the tarp.
  • Pick up the tarp by the four corners and carry the leaves to your truck or vehicle to take to the dump, or to a nearby woods or disposal location.
How to use a tarp for leaves
large blue tarp on grass or lawn with brown leaves

5 Steps to Using a Tarp for Leaves

Using a tarp to move leaves is a simple process and can be done by following the steps outlined below.

Collect the Leaves in One Area of Your Yard

Start by moving all the leaves in your yard into one general area with either a rake or a leaf blower. Large central piles of leaves will allow you to easily move them onto the tarp.

Find the Right Size Tarp for Your Leaves

Find a good size tarp for the number of leaves you’ll be picking up. The smaller the tarp, the more trips you’ll have to make. You might also want to consider a tarp with handles for easier transport, especially if you plan on picking up heavy wet leaves.

Spread the Tarp Flat on the Ground

Once you have your tarp ready, spread it flat on the ground near the piles you first collected in your yard. If there’s any wind, place rocks or something heavy on the four corners, or tie them down so your tarp stays in once place.

Rake or Blow Leaves into Tarp

With a good leaf rake or blower, move the larger piles of leaves from the grass onto the tarp. You should be able to fit a good amount of leaves, but try to keep them all towards the center of the tarp. You’ll need to fold the corners to transport the leaves in the next step.

Using a tarp for raking leaves

Pick up the Tarp of Leaves

When the tarp is full of leaves, grab the corners or handles of the tarp and bring them together, similarly to how you would fold a bed sheet. Carry or drag the tarp to wherever you plan on disposing of the leaves. You can also attach the tarp to a tractor if it’s too large to carry on your own.

Tip for Moving Leaves Using a Tarp

If you plan on dropping the leaves off at the dump and don’t want to put each load in individual bags, line an additional tarp on the bottom of your truck bed or trunk. Drop all the leaves from the tarp you’re carrying to the tarp lining the floor of your vehicle. Tie a tarp on top of the pile of leaves if you have an open truck bed to prevent them from blowing all over while driving. Once you get to the dump, you can easily pull the bottom tarp out, moving the leaves with it. Use a blower, small brush, or your hands to get any fallen leaves out of your truck or car.

Best Size Tarp for Collecting Leaves

What size tarp for collecting leaves you choose depends on the size of your yard and the number of leaves you need to move. Below are a few different sizes and options:

  • 7’ x 7’ – for smaller yards with fewer leaves, a 5 by 7 tarp should be enough to get the job done.
  • 9’ x 9’ – if you need something a little larger for more leaves, 9’ x 9’ or 8’ x 10’ are good sizes. You can also look for something with handles on the corners to make carrying a lot easier.
  • 10’ x 20’ – having a large yard with lots of trees requires moving a ton of leaves. Choosing a bigger tarp will allow you to clear your yard without adding a ton of extra trips.
  • 30’ x 40’ – attaching an extra-large tarp to a tractor can make clearing a field of leaves a breeze. Be sure to choose something that is tear-resistant if you plan on dragging the leaves behind.

Using a Tarp for Picking up Leaves

Large tarp for moving leaves during the fall

As you can see, a tarp for raking leaves can make the job a lot easier and more efficient. Simply rake all the leaves in your yard to one central location. Move them onto the tarp and transport the leaves from the tarp to either the dump, woods, or any other acceptable location.

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