How do I get these fallen leaves out of my decorative stone flowerbeds?
February 7, 2013 7:21 PM   Subscribe

My new house has some nice flowerbeds that are covered in decorative white stones. They have been a bit neglected, and a lot of dry fallen leaves have accumulated in the flowerbeds and mixed with the stones. I tried gently raking the leaves out, but I couldn't get all of them. I can't seem to rake them out without removing the stones too. I think it looks messy like this. What's an easy way to remove the leaves?
posted by (F)utility to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 7:25 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]

Blower! The cordless kind is convenient.
posted by barnone at 7:31 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

wet/dry vac and suck 'em out.
posted by msleann at 7:51 PM on February 7, 2013

Response by poster: Seriously? (*smacking head* leaf blower!!!) What if I don't have any of those things? Is there a non-powered option?
posted by (F)utility at 7:59 PM on February 7, 2013

posted by elle.jeezy at 8:00 PM on February 7, 2013

Best answer: Neighbor with leaf blower.
posted by bq at 8:02 PM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]

You can get a decent one for little jobs like this for $30-$50 on Amazon. Worth it since you'll have to do this again!
posted by barnone at 8:21 PM on February 7, 2013

Just invest in the blower!

This problem used to drive me NUTZ with the droppings of Jacaranda Trees in the mix.

There is no other effective solution.
posted by jbenben at 10:29 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Please consider using a light broom! Less dust, less noise, less electricity consumed -- whatever you do now will be done many times, so it does matter. Also, the leaves have to go _somewhere_. If you sweep them, you can control where they go.
posted by amtho at 10:42 PM on February 7, 2013

A leaf vacuum (as opposed to a blower) will allow you to bag up the leaves - they'll break down to produce leaf mold that you can use next year to improve/mulch your soil, or as an ingredient in compost. At least then you'll have something in exchange for the cost and effort.
posted by pipeski at 3:03 AM on February 8, 2013

Some vacuum cleaners can be reversed to act as a blower. My Kirby does this. Due to lack of carpet in our current house we replaced it with a shopvac with removable head/motor that is a leafblower so i could suck up or blow away the leaves.
posted by Talia Devane at 6:30 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Either way, you can blow or suck up the leaves into a single pile, and keep them for composting. It's not like if you blow them they just get blown all over the yard. The idea is to corral them into a single pile for removal or composting. Most blowers have an option to vacuum them up as well.
- Toro 51585 Power Sweep 7 amp 2-Speed Electric Blower - $35
- Toro 51599 Ultra 12 amp Variable-Speed Electric Blower/Vacuum - $85 but it's a vacuum as well as blower
- Weed Eater WEB160 7.5 amp Electric Blower - $37

If you already have cordless tools, you can often get a blower from the same brand, and use the same batteries - saves money and the need for multiple chargers around the house.

If you're keen on a broom, get the straw broom sometimes called the "Filipino broom" or "Asian broom" -- the fibers are long and softer than a typical broom, and work much better for jobs like this.
posted by barnone at 8:38 AM on February 8, 2013

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