The Reality of Raking Leaves
(My spin on @PowerofTruth's list.)
On a bit less than a quarter acre with lots of old growth oak trees in the neighborhood... we bag up between 40 and 80 bags a year. These are our reality. Your mileage may vary.
1. Our yard is the center of the drop zone
Our leaves, the neighbor's leaves, and the leaves from two blocks over end up in your yard.
2. The wind moves directly against the direction you're blowing leaves.
They end up back in your face, or just don't move from where you're sending them.
3. Big oak leaves get stuck
In the Japanese maple, in and under the shrubs. Anywhere where you can't get them out with a rake or a blower. At least two bags worth per year.
4. Raking isn't any better.
More leaves get stuck in the rake than you're able to move into a pile. After a while, I invert the rake and push the small piles into a larger pile.
5. Oh, forgot to mention the acorns...
When you get the leaves almost done, you also have to deal with the acorns.
6. Need rain? Leave a leaf pile or two in the yard.
Then it will rain for several days, turning the leaves at the bottom into bumper stickers against the ground.
7. There are at least three major drops per season
So, do you wait for them all to fall, which means it could rain and snow, causing the complications described above? Or do two or three pickups and multiply the aggravation? Seems like whatever we choose, we lose...
8. Even when you think you have it done...
The leave tornado drops a few bags worth in the yard.
9. Oh, there are also those couple of branches...
That absolutely REFUSE to drop leaves until the middle of winter. Or spring if they're being really pissy.
10. At some point, you need to get violent.
The last step is one last run with the mulching lawn mower. Those damned stragglers just didn't listen, so I sealed their fate.