Autumn leaves are beautiful until they wither, drop from the trees, and end up all over your yard and grass. Raking up leaves from your lawn and around your yard can take a while, yet it isn’t too challenging. However, if you’ve got landscaped areas around your yard and have decorative rocks in some areas, then leaves can get trapped, thus making the task more challenging.
Knowing the best ways to get rid of these can save you hours in the garden, and asking how to remove leaves from rocks? Leaf vacuums and leaf blowers are great tools to have in your yard clearing arsenal for removing leaves around landscaping rocks.
However, if you don’t have one of these, you can wait until the leaves are dry and make use of your shop vacuum to suck up the leaves and other debris that could have accumulated. The question now is, what if you don’t have access to such tools to clean landscape rocks and get rid of leaves that are creating an eyesore?
In our guide, you can learn more about how to get rid of plant leaves from everything from pebble driveways right up to the largest landscape rocks using many methods. By the end, you’ll see which of the right tools and the best way are to get leaves out of rocks in your yard and garden. (Learn How To Keep Birds From Building Nests On Porch)
How Do You Get Sticks and Leaves Out Of Rocks?
It sounds like a simple task, and in many cases, if you have the right tools, it isn’t too tough to get rid of leaves off decorative gravel and in between a rock bed and stones. However, you do need to tackle the task in the right way.
Before diving in, here’s a few tips to consider when you set about clearing all your pesky leaves.
- Rake around the plants you want to keep, but don’t rake over them.
- Keep your vacuum nozzle or blower 4 inches away from plants.
- If your plants have been covered in leaves, uncover, and mark them by hand before raking or blowing leaves.
- Some little plants may be buried if you have a large pile of leaves in your rock garden. To avoid killing or ruin these plants, go through your garden by hand to find all your plants. Marking plants with poles or flags will help avoid them when clearing debris from those areas.
Remove By Hand
Picking leaves out by hand is the most straightforward approach. When working with sensitive plants, this is the best solution. Wear gloves and collect leaves with a hand rake to make the process easier.
When your rock beds are full of fragile garden plants, leaf removal by hand is the best alternative. (Read About Fungus On Tree Stump)
To make leaf cleaning clean and quick, put on gloves and utilize this hand rake.
In many circumstances, you can remove leaves off plants by hand, then use a different approach to remove leaves from other areas of your garden.
Sifting Small Stones
When leaves and dirt are mixed up with your gravel or rocks, no amount of raking, leaf blowing, or vacuuming can bring them back to their original state.
In this scenario, the best option is sifting the rocks to remove any stubborn leaves. To do so, follow these steps:
- Outside your flower bed, lay a 3-foot sheet of this metal screen on a tarp.
- Shovel a part of your flower bed’s rocks into the screen’s center.
- Sift dirt from rocks by lifting the screen and shaking it.
- Hand-pick any remaining leaves.
- Place the rocks back in the garden bed.
This is a time-consuming procedure that should only be used for tiny pieces of rock and gravel.
Sifting will get rid of leaf debris, yet the following methods can save you time and effort most of the time.
How Do You Remove Dead Leaves From Stones?
If the fall leaves and debris accumulate between rocks and stoners, it’s tricker than raking, vacuuming, or blowing leaves off your lawn.
Depending on the sizes of your plants, leaf blowers and a garden vacuum may cause more harm, so a spring tine fan rake is among the best methods to get rid of leaves and tree debris.
Rakes such as this are best used on open areas, and you may have to resort to cleaning by hand; even this, it is difficult to remove substantial amounts of leaves from rock-filled flower beds or lawn features containing decorative rocks.
Here are the best methods to remove dirt and leaves from your rocks to all area sizes.
Because dry leaves weigh significantly less than gravel, they can be vacuumed out of gravel areas using a leaf vacuum.
To suck up the leaves, use a leaf vacuum on the lowest setting. Begin by vacuuming a tiny portion to check the gravel stays in place.
You can buy dedicated landscape vacuums or a leaf blower with vacuuming capabilities; thus, you can clean dirt or blow leaves off your grass with one machine.
Even if you’re sucking rather than blowing, remember to wear eye protection.
Before starting, please make sure the catch bag is securely attached, and empty it frequently as you work. Wet leaves and pine needles are more difficult to vacuum up than dry leaves.
Many suitable leaf blowers also come with a leaf vacuum attachment. Because you can suck the leaves directly into an attached vacuum bag, this is perfect for removing leaves out of rocks. This is more efficient than blowing leaves off your rocks into your grass area, where they will have to be picked up later.
A leaf vacuum is one of the most effective tools for pulling leaves out of rock mulch, whether you have mounds of dry leaves in your decorative rocks or obstinate wet leaves and pine needles.
A vacuum picks up leaves fast, particularly around shrubs, flower beds, and other difficult-to-rake areas. Although it appears that the bag needs to be emptied every five minutes, the yard work vac minces the leaves and packs lots of them into just a few bags.
You can use a combination tool like a leaf blower/vacuum to remove leaves from rocks, as in the above section.
To dislodge stubborn leaves out of your rocks, you’ll sometimes need additional power. Leaves pinned beneath rocks can be freed with your blower.
To avoid injuring prized plants, be cautious when using a leaf blower/ vacuum.
Leaf blowers are more powerful than leaf vacuums, so they’re more likely to harm your garden’s small or delicate plants.
When using a leaf blower, keep the nozzle at least 4 inches away from any garden plants.
Consider cleaning leaves surrounding the garden plant by hand before reaching for your leaf blower. Use these for other more extensive areas, such as your grass lawn, if the plant is noticeably agitated as you blow leaves.
A simple shop vacuum can suffice if you don’t have access to specialist landscaping equipment like a leaf blower.
Shop vacuums feature tremendous suction and come with a long, flexible hose, allowing them to be used as a leaf vacuum. This simplifies the process of removing leaves from rock gardens.
To remove leaves from decorative rocks, use a shop vac like this one.
A decent shop vac can suck up leaves from between the rocks.
The hose on most shop vac types can be connected to the exhaust port, converting the vacuum into a blower.
You may also use your wet/dry vacuum as a leaf blower if you want. Instead of the intake port, connect the vacuum hose to the exhaust port.
You can quickly blow leaves out of your garden with this method, yet they are only suitable for smaller concentrated areas. It isn’t possible to blow leaves from your lawn carrying a shop vacuum.
Use The Right Rake
When clearing leaves from rocks, the right leaf rake can help. Look for a rake with thin, flexible metal tines. These are the best for removing leaves without causing damage to your decorative rocks. (Learn How To Get Rid Of Mushrooms In Vegetable Garden)
It would help if you did not use a rake with stiff tines as instead of removing leaves, they disturb and displace your rocks.
Use a flexible rake like an adjustable leaf rake to easily pull leaves out of rock mulch in different sized areas. A leaf rake is a flexible rake with triangle-shaped springy tines made of light, flexible metal, springy bamboo, or plastic.
Rake your debris from your rock mulch use a light flicking motion toward you to avoid pulling the gravel. If you use a stiff rake to rake leaves, the tines will end up moving the rocks.
Because you’ll be raking rocks rather than leaves, this will make the work much more difficult for you. When raking leaves, use a flexible rake that can bend around the rocks.
Use a Straw Broom
If your rock garden comprises small rocks or gravel, a blower or vacuum could easily move rocks as well as leaves.
In this scenario, a stiff straw broom is great for leaf removal and better than many other tools for getting rid of leaves. It will remove leaves from your garden but not fling rocks on your lawn.
This straw broom works well for sweeping leaves away from small rocks and gravel.
Choose an Asian-style straw broom if possible. They have a fan-shaped straw head that is great for clearing leaves while avoiding damaging rocks.
The straw head-on Western-style straw brooms are thicker, making them more likely to move decorative rocks across your lawn when sweeping.