Raking Leaves

Lauren Larkoski rakes leaves from her yard Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in northeast Rochester. Larkoski said she wanted to get the leaves raked up before the snow. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

Dear Answer Man: Here's a question that ranks up there with how to hang the toilet paper roll, whether to cut sandwiches horizontally or diagonally, and "paper or plastic?"

Which rake should I use to get those danged leaves off my lawn? I own a metal rake, the kind with the teeth that dig into the grass or dirt on occasion, but grip really well, and the big fan-shaped plastic rake that might take a few passes to get all the tree droppings, but covers a wider area.

For fast, efficient raking – I want to be done Saturday before the Gophers game starts against Iowa – I need advice on which rake is the best for the job — A fan of Golden Gophers and neat lawns.

Dear Goldy: Since the dawn of time, man has asked himself "How do I get these leaves off my lawn?" and "Why do they keep falling on my chickens and their eggs?"

Leaving the chicken-and-egg question for another time, I decided your noble quest to root for the Gophers on Saturday against the Hawkeyes (and their eggs) needs all the help it can get. So I contacted the landscaping experts at Meyer Outdoor Services and talked to Dan Meyer, whose son Tim owns the business. 

Dan said each rake has its purpose, but when it comes to leaves, leave the metal rake in the shed. 

"We use the large fan, plastic rakes to do leaves and the lawn," Dan said. "You'll get the job done much quicker. Most metal rakes are not that wide, and their teeth will dig into the ground and the sod more readily."

Metal rakes, Dan added, are generally better for spreading rocks, small stones or gravel because they can push around the heavier objects. In the end, Dan said, folks probably need both kinds of rakes, but it just depends on the type of job you need to do.

The plastic, fan-shaped rakes cover a wider area and work like a broom, sweeping the leafs into handy piles that can be bagged up with plenty of time for, say, a 3 p.m. kickoff on a Saturday afternoon. 

Best of all, as you rake your lawn, you can pretend you're rowing that boat, Gophers fans. 

The Answer Man leaves no question behind. Send questions to answerman@postbulletin.com.

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