Falling leaves, things you need to do to prevent lower back pain from spoiling your fall clean-up.

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It is officially autumn, and in the northern part of the country where we live, it means falling leaves. While the annual changing of the leaves is beautiful for a few weeks, the result is that a huge amount of refuse is created by the leaves that blanket the ground. While there are nutrients in those leaves while they break down over time, they can also cause mold and other problems for your yard and landscape. Back pain will cause difficulty in removing the masses of leaves, which can be exacerbated by the wrong equipment. Worse, many towns require you to bag the leaves after you move them to the front of your home. The right equipment is essential to easy leaf removal. If you wonder what you should be using, watch your local neighborhood landscaper. Your local landscaper makes money by being able to move a huge amount of refuse efficiently and fast, so they can move their crews to the next job. The more productive they are, the more their potential income is. This is why you minimally want to own a backpack blower as they do. If your property is larger and has more leaves, a powerful pull-behind blower is necessary. Hand blowers can be helpful for tiny jobs but beyond clearing a small amount of material, their power and ability to move material is quite limited. Backpack blowers are easy to take care of and can clear out material between bushes and will move quite a bit of material. They will not, however, move huge piles well. As pictured above, the person is using a Stihl blower, similar to what I use (about $300). [caption id="attachment_2831" align="alignleft" width="300"] Pull behind blower[/caption] Pull-behind blowers will move a ton of material more quickly and reduce the amount of work needed to clear your yard. These cost more however there are ways to keep your costs down which include renting or purchasing a used piece of equipment which can be very cost-effective.

What you need to protect your back and make yard work more enjoyable. Essential tools for safe leaf removal.

1. Backpack blowers can be purchased from your local lawn and garden shop. Good ones are available new for about $300 and up for something that will be powerful to clear a bunch of material. Be careful when shopping larger stores like home depot that have blowers that look the same as the ones in the specialty shop. Usually, the local specialty shop has more powerful units and will service them for you if there is a problem (priceless). It is worth it to support your local lawn shop for the service and help they can offer alone. 2. Pull behind blowers are more expensive. Little wonder is a well-known brand that is quite powerful and reliable. Again, your local lawn equipment shop can help you choose the best model for you. 3. Saving some money on good equipment is on everyone's mind. Often, great buys on used equipment can be found on eBay and craigslist.com. I purchased the top of the line pull behind blower on eBay used for less than half the cost of new a dozen years ago and other than recently replacing the engine after 6 years of use, it has been awesome. If you want to get better equipment and your budget is tight, you can do quite well on eBay, Facebook, and craigslist by buying used equipment. The best buys are often offseason, so buy that blower in June rather than September. Many landscapers will buy new backpack blowers every year or two and put the old ones for sale on eBay or craigslist and more recently Facebook too. Be more cautious about these, since the money saved on a backpack blower is less than it would be on a pull behind. You are better off buying new and then having the year warranty from your local shop. Since some credit cards double the warranty, you can get two years warranty on the unit with the right card. If you are lucky enough to live in a town where the leaves are vacuumed at the front of the street, removal is easy. In North Brunswick and the surrounding towns, bagging leaves is a necessary evil. Take care when bagging, since some of the leaves may be quite wet. Since your other equipment did most of the work, the rest should be easy. Some riding mowers have attachments that allow you to ride around and mulch the leaves into baskets. This can be an easier way to cleaning up the rest of the lawn however, be careful of the weight of the mulched leaves when you bag them. One final tip; a chiropractic visit can pay dividends because if your back is problematic before bagging, it will likely be much more problematic afterward. Unfortunately, most people do not realize there is a problem until they hurt worse after their fall clean-up. It is a good idea to get your chiropractor to check your body out to make sure you are mechanically fit. Feel better in as little as one visit.  Request your appointment here.