How to make fall lawn care eas­ier

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It’s time for rak­ing leaves, prun­ing shrub­bery, and other sea­sonal fall lawn care tasks. Never has the old adage “work smarter, not harder” been more apt than when tack­ling yard work and pre­par­ing lawns for next sea­son.

“Af­ter a long sum­mer mow­ing lawns, many peo­ple lose en­thu­si­asm for lawn care when fall hits,” says Bob Mon­a­han, cre­ator of the EZ Lawn & Gar­den prod­uct line, and a for­mer frus­trated leaf-raker look­ing for cost-ef­fec­tive ways to make yard work eas­ier.

“There are sev­eral tips to stream­line yard work -- from know­ing the best time to pull weeds to us­ing the right equip­ment to make tasks sim­pler,” he says.

Here are some smart ways to han­dle fall lawn care:

Be Body Smart

Good pos­ture can pre­vent back­aches when rak­ing leaves. Keep your head up and back straight. Re­lieve back pres­sure by rak­ing us­ing the “scis­sors” stance: whereby you place one foot for­ward and the other back, re­vers­ing po­si­tion af­ter sev­eral min­utes.

When mow­ing, move the mower with your body weight as much as pos­si­ble, rather than re­ly­ing on your arms and back.

And use er­gonom­i­cally de­signed rakes, shears and pruners that re­quire less hand strength than tra­di­tional ones.

Rake and Haul Eas­ily

Put away the loud, smelly leaf blower. Noth­ing is worse than rak­ing leaves on a windy day, only to have them blown around. Try an eas­ier ap­proach. Rake leaves onto a tar­pau­lin and drag it away. One in­no­va­tive tarp so­lu­tion is the EZ Leaf Hauler, which has been dubbed the “gi­ant dust­pan for leaves.” It’s a mod­i­fied tarp with sides that holds up to five wheel­bar­rows of yard de­bris. Stakes are at­tached and can be pressed into the ground to hold it in place on windy days. Ap­proved by the Good House­keep­ing Re­search In­sti­tute, it uses tent con­struc­tion tech­nol­ogy to form

sides and a back, and has re­in­forced pock­ets and stitched han­dles for easy haul­ing and dump­ing.

And if you al­ready have a tarp, you can eas­ily clip han­dles to it to make it eas­ier to haul when full of leaves. For ex­am­ple, the EZ Tarp Tug­ger is a low-cost op­tion that com­bines han­dles with stakes, so you can keep your tarp in place and then pull it away when it is full of de­bris to bag or com­post.

Re­mem­ber, drag­ging leaves away is eas­ier on your back and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly.

Weed Wisely

Weed­ing can be made less painful if you ad­here to the old gar­dener’s trick of weed­ing af­ter it rains. When earth is dry, it’s harder to pull out the whole weed with­out break­ing off the top. Af­ter rain­fall, the ground is damp, mak­ing it eas­ier to pluck out en­tire weeds.

This way, weeds can eas­ily be added to leaves and other de­bris that need to be hauled away.

More in­for­ma­tion on in­no­va­tive tools for rak­ing, haul­ing and bag­ging yard de­bris can be found at www.ezlaw­nandgar­

Re­mem­ber, fall is your last chance to put your lawn in or­der be­fore next sea­son’s warm weather.

Rak­ing leaves onto a tarp makes them eas­ier to haul.

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