How To Bag Leaves In Your Yard? The Best Way And Some Expert Tips

Leaves are the most essential and beautiful part of a tree’s anatomy and come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Some are bright and vibrant, while others are more subdued and muted.

However, no matter how stunning the leaves of a tree are, they eventually fall. Keep reading for our tips on the best way to bag leaves.

best way to bag leaves

Autumn is in full swing, and leaves are on every homeowner’s mind and yard.

When too many fallen leaves accumulate on the ground, they create a mess. Moreover, these leave piles can smother the grass underneath and attract bugs to your yard. So, to save yourself from these problems, you must eliminate them ASAP.

You will need to rake and bag fallen leaves in autumn every so often, or things might get out of control. However, bagging autumn leaves can seem like an ending chore. But it does not have to be that way. While you cannot escape this seemingly tedious chore, you can make it quick and fun if you know what to do.

Please continue reading to find out how. And happy gardening!

The Best Way To Bag Autumn Leaves

The Best Way To Bag Autumn Leaves

Left on your grass all winter, that thick blanket of leaves can smother your lawn.

If you have a few trees in your yard or surrounding your lawn, you must know how difficult it gets to bag their leaves during the fall.

For example, it takes so much effort to keep the bag upright when filling it with fallen leaves. Besides, people could spend as much as half of the time keeping the bag upright when collecting and bagging leaves.

In addition, when you pull the plastic bag out of the garbage can, the quick pull creates a partial vacuum within the pin, which can often rip up the bag. So, how do you avoid these issues? Well, you can try taking off the bottom of your garbage can.

It will fix both of these problems simultaneously. Here is how:

Step 1. Cut The Bottom Of Your Plastic Bin

You can use any plastic garbage can, but I prefer using a 33-gallon garbage bin with a narrow bottom.

Next, take some sturdy scissors or garden shears to take off the bottom of the can. However, make sure you cut about one inch above the base.

It will not only make the cutting easier but will also give you a clean cut.

Step 2. Install The Plastic Bag

Once you have your garbage bin ready, take a solid plastic bag and please make sure that it is the same capacity as your garbage can and fit it inside the can.

If you take a smaller bag, it will not adjust perfectly inside the can, and if it is too large, it will keep hanging, and there is a significant chance that it will rip apart, bringing you back to square one.

Therefore, make sure the bag is of the same capacity as the container, and then place it inside the can and start filling it up with the leaves you want to bag.

Step 3. Invert To Remove The Bag

Once the bag is filled with leaves, it is time to take it out. However, you cannot remove the bag by lifting it above the bag because of the tapered end of the garbage bin. 

To remove the bag, you must pick up the garbage can and then invert it. Doing so will ensure you take the load safely without ripping it apart and creating a mess.

Once done, you can fit another bag inside the garbage can and start over. 

Repeat this step until your lawn or backyard is empty of fallen leaves.

Step 4. Using A Small Bag

If you have a large garbage can but cannot find a large enough bag to fit inside it correctly, you can use a small bag too. However, it won’t be as effective.

Nevertheless, to fit a small plastic bag inside a large garbage can, invert the bin and then wrap your plastic bag over the tapered end.

Next, place the lid onto the container and make sure its doomed side is pointed to the inside, keeping the bag from falling.

Step 5. Collect The Leaves & Repeat

When using a small bag to collect leaves in a garbage can, there is no need to invert the can over to take out the bag. The bag will quickly come out, even if you pull it lightly.

Then again, place a new bag inside the bin, and fill it with leaves until you are done.

RELATED: Best Moss Killer For Lawns And Homes | A Comprehensive Guide

Tips & Tricks For Bagging Leaves

Tips & Tricks For Bagging Leaves

Wait and do not start the job until all the leaves from the trees have fallen to the ground.

Collecting and bagging large piles of fallen leaves is tedious and takes time. However, there are a few ways to make your work easier and more fun. Here, I have listed some of the best tips and tricks from the experts to help you bag your leaves more easily. 

Before The Breaks, Stomp!

Sometimes, even when you are not finished, you have to stop.

Life happens. There is no stopping it. Maybe your dog is hungry, and you have to give him food, or you have to pick up the kids from school, or it could be your phone.

Anything could happen. You should step on the pile and stomp it heavily with your feet in these instances. It will keep the leaves from blowing away in the wind.

And, when you come back, you can start hassle-free from where you left off.

Try To Use A Shovel

Try To Use A Shovel - best way to bag leaves

ML-TOOLS Gardening Rake Shovel Sieve: Leaf Rake for Lawn, Yard, and Pool.

Like most people, you might not have heard of a raking shovel before, but it exists, and you can use it to collect fall leaves. Rake shovels are somewhat different from standard gardening shovels.

Raking shovels look like ice or snow shovels and are explicitly designed to push along the ground’s surface rather than in it like a typical shovel.

Also, unlike a standard shovel with a blade, a raking shovel has tines that you can drag across the surface of the lawn o pick up twigs and leaves.

These raking shovels can easily be bought from online gardening stores, and they are great tools for picking up fallen leaves from a small yard. Also, they will help reduce strain on your arms and back.

Use Leaf Scoops

Use Leaf Scoops

Pure Garden Leaf Hand Rake: Durable Grabber Tool for Scooping and Picking Leaves.

Once you have collected your fallen leaves into a pile using your raking shovel, it is time to pick them up and put them into the bag or bin. However, picking leaves manually using your hands can be stressful on your back and cause rapid fatigue.

A much more straightforward way to collect these leaves and put them into bags is to use leaf scoops. Leaf scoops are giant claw-like plastic tools for hands. When worn on both hands, leaf scoops allow the rapid collection of fallen leaves.

Then, you can put them in a plastic bag and compost or burn them.

Don’t Overdo It!

When most people hear the word “raking,” their minds immediately go to preparing gardens or yard beds for planting trees or grass. However, leaf raking is nothing like that. It only requires the soft and effortless gentle movements of a leaf rake.

When using, the tines of a leaf rake should not remove the thatch or dig into the ground. You do not have to put pressure on the leaf rake, as doing so will make collecting the leaves more difficult. It is all about raking the surface of your yard or garden.

I highly recommend you also search YouTube for the best leaf-raking methods. A suitable raking method will save you time and lots of arm and back pain.

Use A Leaf Blower

Use A Leaf Blower

A leaf blower makes short work of clearing the leaves from your lawn.

Knowing how to use a leaf blower correctly can significantly decrease the time you need and collect fallen leaves in the autumn.

However, please remember that using leaf blowers correctly takes time, practice, and patience. For example, when using leaf blowers for the first time, many people tend to stand too close to the leaves.

As a result, the leaves blow around wildly in all directions, which can create even more mess.

The best way to use leaf blowers is to divide your yard or lawn into separate sections using a grid pattern and then use the leaf blower back and forth.

Rake Before It Rains

It would help if you did not rake or collect the fallen leave in your yard after rain. The water makes them clumpy and soggy, which can cause the leaf blowers, rakes, and vacuums to clog. So, if there is a rain forecast and you have to rake your lawn, get moving.

Moreover, I recommend cleaning the fallen leaves out of the gutter before the rain if there is time. When the fallen leaves are dry, it is much easier to rinse them away using a pressure washer. But if they get wet, then God may have mercy on your soul.

Mow & Mulch Simultaneously

You do not always have to remove fallen leaves from your yard to get rid of them.

You can use the fallen leaves on your lawn as mulch. It will remove the piles of fallen autumn leaves from your yard and add organic matter to your soil.

To do this, you can use a mulching mower to mow your grass. Its blades will quickly chop the leaves on the lawn into small pieces, which will decompose in no time and add organic matter to the soil.

RELATED: Gypsum For Lawns: Is It Any Good And How To Use It Correctly?

Buy A Yard Vaccum

Buy A Yard Vaccum - best way to bag leaves

Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum, Variable-Speed (up to 250 mph) with Metal Impeller.

You should consider investing in a yard vacuum to streamline the leaf removal process if you have a large yard.

A yard vacuum also makes it very easy to pick up leaves and other tree debris on top of stone mulch, near the trees, under the shrubs, between the bushes, and in many other places where raking or hand collection can be tricky.

Moreover, a yard vacuum has a built-in chopper to shred the leaves into tiny pieces. It makes it possible to collect much more leaves in fewer bags.

Bag Smaller Piles

Unless you like collecting leaves into large piles for kids or making large piles of leaves to jump on them yourself, it is usually a good idea to rake leaves into small mounds and then bag them as soon as possible. It is because leaves are lightweight.

And only a breeze or small gist of wind can blow them all over the place, bringing you to square one, and then you will have to start from square one again.

Use A Large Tarp

Bagging leaves, creating piles, and getting rid of them is a time consume task. However, there are ways to make this tedious task quick and fun. One of these methods is to use a large tarp by raking the leaves onto it from all over your property. 

After that, you can roll up the tarp into a cylinder shape and use it as a funnel to fill individual bags. It will not only be quick but more straightforward too. 

Alternatively, you can tie the ends of your tarp together and take it to your community collection center. A large tarp can be easily bought from gardening stores and online marketplaces, and it can be used many times and often lasts for years.

Rake The Area In Rows

Rake The Area In Rows

The best way to get full coverage from raking is to move in rows, similar to how you would mow.

When most people rake and collect leaves on their lawns, they create a big pile of leaves in the center and start collecting leaves from all over the yard to that point in a haphazard manner.

As a result, they have to go back and forth on the lawn many times, which is a waste of energy and, most importantly, their never coming back time.

I highly recommend that you do not do that. Instead, you should divide your yard into quadrants and rake into rows starting from one end of a quadrant to the other. 

By raking the fallen leaves in this grid pattern, you will have a cleaner lawn and save plenty of time that you can use to do other tasks or chores.

Rake With The Wind

You know what they say: work smarter, not harder.

So, when raking leaves on your lawn and collecting them in piles, you should take advantage of the blowing wind. If you rake in the wind direction, the blowing breeze will help you move the dry leaves along, and you won’t have to work as hard.

However, if you make the mistake of raking against the direction of the wind, with every stroke, a few leaves will make their way back to the area you just raked. It will frustrate you and waste plenty of time you could otherwise spend.

The only exception to this rule is when the wind is blowing way too fast. 

If that is the case, I recommend that you do not rake. If you do so, the leaves from your neighbor’s place might cover your yard by the time you end up raking the yard.

Use The Right Rake

Always go for one with a broader tine spread when buying a rake to collect leaves on your lawn. Ideally, it would help if you aimed for a tine spread of about 30 inches.

It is because if you try to collect leaves on your property with a narrow rake, it will collect fewer leaves in one go, adding unneeded time to your cleaning time.

Also, make sure you buy a rake labeled as “no-clog.” These rakes have curved tines that do not tear or shear the leaves when raking and do not create blockages.

Protect Yourself

Protect Yourself

Ensure you are appropriately dressed when raking a lawn to collect fall leaves.

If you have ever raked a yard to collect fallen autumn leaves, you must know that it is a dusty business. So, whenever you rake a property, ensure you are sufficiently dressed. 

It means you should wear a hat, full sleeves, a mask, and long pants.

I also recommend buying some heavy-duty gloves to save yourself from blisters that often form when raking for too long. These gloves will also come in handy with many other home and lawn chores/projects you must do regularly.

Also, please try to stand as straight as possible when raking to collect leaves and switch your leading hand in between to prevent fatigue and muscle cramps.

Do Not Start Too Soon

Do not rush things! It is impossible to outpace Mother Nature!

You should only rake your lawn when you are sure the trees will not shed more leaves or when the trees in your yard are practically bare. If you start too soon, you might have to rake your property multiple times to keep it looking neat and clean.

So, save yourself the trouble and start when it is all done.

Invest In Trash Funnels

You can also buy a trash funnel to simplify your bagging of the leaves.

Trash funnels are lightweight aluminum frames designed explicitly to keep your trash bags open as you fill them with leaves. You can even use them to turn your bag sideways, which allows you to rake the fallen leaves straight into the bag as you rake. 

RELATED: How To Get Rid Of Fuzzy Little White Balls In Garden Soil For Good?

How I Bag Leaves On My Lawn?

How I Bag Leaves On My Lawn?

Coming to an end, let me tell you how I rake leaves on my lawn.

Now that you have learned all the tips and tricks from the experts about raking dead leaves in a yard let me tell you how I do it on my lawn. It might not be for everyone, but it saves me a lot of time and the use of heavy equipment. So, let’s dive right in.

  • After all the leaves have fallen, I bring all the leaves onto my lawn.
  • Next, I attach my SUV to my little trailer that has a tarp attached to it.
  • Then I use my mulching mower to mow and bag the leaves on my lawn.
  • After filling a bag, I empty the mower on the tarp.
  • To simplify work, I divide my lawn quadrants and work accordingly.
  • I repeat until all the sections have been covered or my trailer is full.
  • Once the trailer is full, I drive to the community brush dump.

This might not be a perfect technique, but it saves me a lot of time, makes excellent use of my mulching mower, and keeps me from renting expensive equipment. 

Final Thoughts | Is Removing Leaves Necessary?

Is Removing Leaves Necessary - best way to bag leaves

If you don’t rake fallen leaves, the thick layer of leaves can smother your grass.

You might have seen your neighbors not giving a dime about the fallen autumn leaves on their lawns and ignoring them until they blow away with the wind or decompose on their properties over time. Should you do that too? And, is raking leaves necessary?

To be honest, it is all up to you whether you want to rake the leaves on your lawn. However, in my opinion, ignoring fallen leaves on your property is not a good idea.

Over time, the fallen leaves on the ground can pile up on the lawn in a thick layer that can smother your grass. Even if they do not extinguish the grass, you are definitely going to lose the green of your lawn, and it will look patchy and unkempt.

Moreover, a large pile of dead leaves on your lawn can attract insects and other animals to your property. Therefore, if you have kids or pets, you should not let piles of dead autumn leaves stay on your property and remove them as fast as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest way to bag leaves?

The easiest way to bag leaves on a lawn is to place a large tarp in the middle and then rake leaves from all over onto it. Next, use a trash funnel to pour leaves from the tarp by folding the tarp into a cylinder and emptying it into a garbage can or trash bag.

How do you compress leaves in a bag?

If you want to compress leaves into a bag or use fewer bags to collect leaves, I recommend using a mulching mower to bag your leaves. It will shred the leaves into tiny pieces, which will take much less space and could easily compress inside a bag.

What is the fastest way to pick up leaves?

The quickest way to pick up leaves from a lawn is to blow them over using a leaf blower onto a large tarp and then tie the ends of the tarp together to create l large trash bag. However, you do not have to throw the tarp away; you can recycle it many times.

What bags to use for leaves?

When choosing bags to collect leaves, always pick one that is heavy-duty and durable. Using a lower-quality bag could easily rip up when you are trying to fill it up with leaves or throw it away. And, this way, you can end up creating more mess.

Is it worth getting a leaf vacuum?

You should not invest in a leaf vacuum if you have a small lawn with only a few trees around it. A simple hand leaf rake would suffice. However, if your yard is large and it has many trees, investing in a leaf vacuum can save you a lot of time and effort.

Sources for Further Reading

Good Question: Do you need to rake all those leaves? | Turfgrass Science. The University of Minnesota. (2023). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from

Take Care When Raking Leaves – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center. (2023). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from

To bag or not to bag? Terry Gibb, Michigan State University Extension – October 31, 2018. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from

Fall, Leaves – Put Them to Work in your Landscape with Bag Composting. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. (2023). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from

Editor’s Recommendations

How To Grade A Yard By Hand? Everything You Need To Know!

Is Putting Too Much Lime In Your Yard Okay? A Beginner’s Guide To Liming