Your guide to raking leaves in Austin
Welcome to autumn, when our yards are littered with (sticky, aphid-y) leaves.
Why it matters: Around this time of year, many of us feel compelled to spend hours on the menial task of shepherding leaves into bags or bins.
Our hacks: If you have more leaves for curbside pickup than fit in the city-supplied green cart, eschew the single-use leaf bags, and instead buy a bunch of cheapo, stackable garbage cans. They're reusable, less expensive over time and often come with wheels.
- Wait till right after a rain, when the leaves clump together nicely, making them easier to rake up.
- Yes, but: God knows when it'll rain again. You could do a quick hosing of your yard for the same effect.
Use a small child to stuff down the leaves.
- This works — especially if you use garbage cans instead of leaf bags.
- Gently lift a sub-6-year-old by the armpits and place him or her in the seemingly full-of-leaves garbage can. Ask the child to stomp or dance.
Alternatively: Just leave the leaves.
- They'll break down naturally or you can grind them up by mower, ultimately enriching your soil.
- And if you just have to clean them up, compost 'em. Try raking them onto an old sheet and dragging them to your compost pile. (H/t reader Aimee B. for that tip)
What we're reading: The O. Henry short story masterpiece, "The Last Leaf," naturally.
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