Meteorologists crowned October 2022 the warmest since weather records began. And it is feared that this record will be broken this year. Before the foggy and gloomy winter months begin, many people were happy about temperatures sometimes exceeding 20 degrees. Allotment gardeners and the hard-working city cleaning colleagues don’t have that much time to put their feet up. Because the trees know exactly when the hour has struck. Oaks, beeches, maples, birches and many other deciduous trees shed tons of brightly colored leaves that end up on sidewalks, streets, private properties or cars.

It looks very romantic for a while and is a lot of fun, especially for children – but as soon as the leaves get wet, it can also become dangerous. Especially for cyclists, older people and also drivers, the journey to work or shopping quickly becomes a slippery slope. In short: the leaves must be swept up and disposed of. Professionals and private individuals alike usually tackle the sea of ‚Äč‚Äčleaves with a leaf rake (also called a leaf broom or fan broom). In the following article you will find out what you should pay attention to when buying a leaf rake, why the tines are so important and how children can help collect leaves.

The tines are the be-all and end-all of leaf rakes. Sweeping up the leaves on the lawn with metal tines, for example, is a bad idea. In the worst case, you will tear small furrows in the turf with the sharp-edged tines and end up with not only the leaves but also grass clippings on the pile of leaves. When working on leaves on lawns, it is better to use leaf rakes with plastic tines. They are light and flexible and protect the lawn.

On sidewalks or garage entrances, however, the rakes with metal tines work more efficiently. They are more robust and grip better on wet leaves than the lightweight plastic tines, which are much better off on soft ground.

Brooms, spades, cultivators, hoees and many other garden tools are piled up in many garages and sheds. For several years now, various manufacturers have been offering so-called combination systems for garden tools. The principle is very simple and follows the motto: one handle for everything. Similar to the nozzles of a vacuum cleaner, you attach the required tool to the handle using a simple plug-in mechanism and get started. If you later use a leaf rake instead of a hoe, the tool can be replaced in no time. This not only saves money, but also space in the shed. So if you already use a handle with a removable tool, you can do without the handle when raking leaves and use a combination system tool. These are available from WOLF-Garten and Gardena, for example.

The weak point of leaf rakes that do not work via a plug-in system is usually the point at which the tool is connected to the handle. When purchasing, make sure that both are connected with a sufficiently large screw. Due to the pressure exerted on the tines when working on leaves, screws or nails that are too small can quickly come loose. The rake becomes loose and, in the worst case scenario, eventually falls off.

The last and also important aspect when buying a leaf rake is the working width. With a very wide leaf rake, you can get a lot of leaves in one go, but if the area you want to clear of leaves is a bit angled, you will constantly get stuck with the tines. For large lawns and wide sidewalks, leaf brooms with a working width of up to 65 centimeters are definitely recommended. Otherwise, it is better to go for smaller versions that are between 35 and a little more than 50 centimeters.

Last tip: If your children want to help you rake up the leaves, it’s best to give them a leaf rake for toddlers. They have a shorter handle and a narrower working width.

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