Top 10 Most-Wanted DIY Tools for the Fall
Autumn is a beautiful season, made especially awe inspiring by gorgeous foliage colors in much of the country. Of course, those beautiful leaves do all come a tumblin’ down. Although it’s tempting to just let the leaves stay on your lawn over the winter, it’s a bad idea. A thick covering of leaves prevents sunlight, oxygen, and water from getting to your lawn, and encourages pests and disease. So smart fall clean-up includes figuring out what to do with fallen leaves.
Tools we think you’ll find especially helpful for all your fall chores include:
1. Extendable lopping pruners – when a chain saw would be overkill, trim shrubs and prune high branches with extendable, manual pole pruners. See dengarden for great tips on how to choose the best pruner for the job, and how to use safely.
2. Chain saw – if the job calls for a chain saw, or you just want the excuse to use one, see the Chainsaw Journal’s 2019 reviews of best chainsaws for homeowners. They’ll give you specs, what to look for, and where to buy it.
3. Shop-Vac® 12 Gallon* 6 Peak HP** Wet Dry Vac w/ Detachable Blower – two tools in one! Easily converts from a powerful wet dry vacuum to a handheld, detachable blower. Use it to blow leaves from flower beds, lawns, and from around the foundation of the house. It’s also a great tool to blow debris from the garage or workshop, and from gutters.
4. Shop-Vac® 2.5 Inch Diameter Gutter Cleaning Kit – pair it with any Shop-Vac® that has a blower port and a 2.5” diameter hose. Quickly clears debris from gutters and downspouts. For concentrated air power add a Shop-Vac® 2-1/2 inch diameter Utility Blower Nozzle.
5. Mulching Mower – pulverizes leaves into nutrient-rich lawn and garden fertilizer. Just blow leaves and garden debris from plant beds and foundation areas onto the lawn, then use a mulching mower to shred. Check out reviews for best mulching mowers of 2019, or retrofit your current mower with mulching blades.
Tip: Before you mulch, use whole leaves as a protective cover for crops, and around the base of trees and bushes. Leaves are also excellent in your compost pile, just layer them in between your green debris.
6. Gorilla Claws – if you prefer to scoop rather than mulch, a tool like Gorilla Claws makes it a breeze. Fits around your hands so you can quickly scoop up large piles of leaves and debris. A similar tool – the Amazing Pickup Rake – also works like a big scoop, with a longer reach.
7. Clean up tarp with handles – great for moving big piles. Lay it out like a regular tarp, pile your leaves and debris on top, then pull the handles together to easily carry load without spilling.
8. Go Green leaf bags – consider an eco-friendly approach to leaf disposal with 30 gallon, biodegradable, lawn bags. Heavy duty bags will stand up without support, and are puncture and tear resistant.
Another great eco approach is a kangaroo container. No bag needed. The 30-gallon size is great for yard waste and collapses to 3” for storage. Check with your waste removal company to see if they’ll collect loose yard debris from a reusable container.
9. Battery-powered utility cart or wheelbarrow –for heavy loads or multiple trips - a great way to save your back! Home Depot has a good selection of regular and battery powered carts. Tip: Keep your tools on board by adding wheelbarrow toolholders for your cart.
10. Water pressure broom – after leaves and debris have been removed use this handy tool to clean driveway, walkways, patios and other areas. Use as a squeegee, power brusher, or a regular broom. You can also buy a water broom attachment to use on your pressure washer.
Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back and let someone else do the work? It’s never too soon to turn your kids on to the joys of DIY. Here’s a fun guide to help you get them started, and to give yourself a break.