Friday, October 30, 2015

It's time for Leaf Tarps

Last weekend, N-son and I did our first raking of the season, and so I got to break out our lawn tarps again.  

When I was growing up and raking leaves with my dad and sisters, we always raked leaves this way:
  1. rake the leaves from all over the yard into one or two giant piles in the middle of that section of our yard,
  2. stuff as many leaves as we could into a giant plastic or metal trash can (one sister was in charge of jumping up and down in the trash can to help pack as many leaves in as possible),
  3. haul that heavy trash can around to the back of the house where the compost pile was,
  4. dump out the trash can, banging it a bunch to get all the leaves we'd compacted into the bottom out of the can;
  5. repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 until that section of the lawn was clean.
It wasn't horrid work, but it wasn't easy, either.  

And so now I don't know why the heck we never used tarps back then.  (An old shower curtain, or an old sheet, also works great for this).  A tarp is so much easier to use at every step of this process.  
  1. Put the tarp right next to the leaves you want to rake, so you don't have to keep re-raking those leaves across the yard to a pile; the pile is right there where you're raking.  Move the tarp along with you as you go. You never have to move the leaves more than 2 or 3 feet with the rake.
  2. Raking leaves onto a tarp that is on the ground is a lot easier than picking the leaves up and trying to stuff them all in a can.  And no need to try to pack them down, either.  (Sorry, jumping sister!)
  3. Folding up the corners of the tarp creates a "bag" that you can carry over your shoulder or even drag along the ground to wherever you want to take them.  Not as heavy or unwieldy as a trash can!
  4. Dumping out the leaves is as easy as letting go of one set of corners and shaking out the tarp.  
  5. You might have to make more trips than with a trash can, especially if your tarp is small, but the rest of the process is so much easier; so who cares?

Raking leaves is still a bunch of exercise and effort, but because I remember the hard work we all did as kids without these, I was just all smiles when we got out the tarp this past weekend. 

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