In many states, the first snowfall will blanket the grass before long. So, it’s time to prepare your yard for winter — which is a worthwhile investment of your time, according to Consumer Reports:
Putting in a little extra work now will ensure that your lawn and plants are healthy in the spring.
Consumer Reports reviewed a large number of mulching lawn mowers and leaf blowers, including 68 leaf blowers alone. Subscribers can find the full list at the Consumer Reports website.
We have highlighted nine highly ranked choices and added links to the manufacturer websites and listed the manufacturer suggested retail prices (MSRP) when available. We also rounded up current prices available from major national retailers.
Mulching lawn mowers:
- Honda HRX217K5VLA, $779 MSRP, $679 at HomeDepot.com as of Monday morning
- Toro 20381, $599.99 MSRP
- Toro Recycler Smart Stow 20340, $419 MSRP, $399 at HomeDepot.com as of Monday morning
- EGO LB5302 (battery powered, handheld style), MSRP unspecified, $199 at HomeDepot.com as of Monday morning
- Toro UltraPlus 51621 (electric, handheld), $99.99 MSRP, $89 at Amazon and $89 at HomeDepot.com as of Monday morning
- Echo PB-255LN (gasoline, handheld), $199.99 MSRP, $214 at Amazon and $241.89 at HomeDepot.com as of Monday morning
- Stihl BR 350 (gasoline, backpack), MSRP unspecified
- EGO LB6002 (battery, backpack), MSRP unknown, $299 at HomeDepot.com as of Monday morning
- Little Wonder LB160H (gasoline, wheeled), MSRP unknown
Consumer Reports recommends mowing your lawn about once a week until it stops growing with the grass height set to around 3 inches.
Beneath trees that shed leaves, you can use your mower’s mulching mode if it has one. This feature results in more finely chopped grass and leaves, which means leaves can decompose — thereby returning nutrients to the soil — without smothering the grass.
If your lawn mower doesn’t have a mulching mode, or you don’t have the time or patience for regular raking, leaves can be removed with a leaf blower.
Consumer Reports notes that regular leaf removal is important because leaves block sunlight and wet leaves are heavier and promote lawn disease when they cover the grass.
What are your go-to tools for fall lawn cleanup? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.