Leaf blowers are an indispensable tool for all those who have to go through the everyday motion of clearing their lawns during fall. Easier and faster to use than a rake, it is an implement every homeowner with a lawn has in store. Not only lawns, but sidewalks and hard-to-reach gutters can also be rid of leaves using a leaf blower, it can also be used to clean snow and other trash from driveways and yards.
Different types of blowers are available in the market, and you can buy one according to your lawn and garden needs. We can broadly classify them as handheld and wheeled leaf blowers. Handheld blowers can be further grouped into gas-powered blowers, gas-powered backpack blowers, and electric blowers, whereas wheeled blowers are almost always gas-powered.
Backpack blowers tend to be heavy and cost more than electric blowers. For a very large expanse of land, it is best to use wheeled blowers, but using them on a sloping tract of land can prove difficult as they can be difficult to maneuver because of their size and weight. Some blowers are designed to act as a vacuum and suck in the leaves, shredding and compressing them into storage bags for disposing later.
Effective Use of Leaf Blowers in Lawn Care
- Dry, non-windy days are ideal to clean your lawn and rid it of leaves. Even the ground and the leaves should be free of moisture, or else it will be impossible to blow the leaves away because they will stick to the ground.
- Have an area in the lawn meant only for piling up the blown leaves. Buy leaf bags from the local department store to stash away all the debris and leaves and keep them handy.
- Choose an area to begin with. Also important is the direction in which you will be blowing. Stick to the same direction all through the process, randomly changing directions will disperse the leaves everywhere instead of gathering them. Blow towards the area where you will be collecting them into the leaf bags. Do not blow uphill and blow in the direction of the breeze.
- Take care not to use the blower in areas of the garden which are full of dust and gravel. Water such an area and steer clear of it. Most blowers can be fitted with different kinds of nozzles. Attach one that does not kick up a lot of dust, and keep the nozzle close to the surface.
- It is imperative to use safety equipment while employing leaf blowers. Wear a mask to protect your eyes and nose from air pollution since all that leaves and debris swirling in the air can cause allergies. Cover you ears with ear plugs without fail, blowers are very noisy, and using them for extended duration can lead to hearing problems.
- Blowers also vibrate a lot, so putting on gloves is also a good idea, it protects your hands from the dust and dirt as well.
- Keep the leaf blower away from children and pets. Switch it off if you are approached by someone, and never point it at anyone!
- Shut the doors and windows of your house and car to prevent the dust from entering inside.
- When using blowers with an extension cord, make sure you don't get entangled and trip over the cord or unplug it in the process.
- Never use a leaf blower to spray fertilizers in your garden.
- Though a very useful tool, leaf blower is sometimes seen as a very noisy implement. So when you use one, make sure you keep the noise levels at a minimum by using the right power setting so as not to disturb the neighborhood. A low throttle speed also reduces noise and lowers fuel consumption. Do not use blowers early morning, especially on weekends. There are cities that have banned the use of leaf blowers, so if you intend to buy one, check with the local authorities before you make the purchase.
Cleaning the lawn in fall with a leaf blower can take up a good amount of time, especially if you own a large plot of land. Using rakes can be tedious, though they make no noise and are relatively safer to use. So, if you use a leaf blower, make sure you maintain it well and repair it in case it does not function properly to keep the noise level at a minimum. Wear a protective garb and use it in the right way for optimal results.