How To Pick Up Leaves With Your Lawn Mower

You could spend hours raking and bagging leaves…

…Or you could spend 10 minutes mowing them up with your lawn mower.

Today, we’ll show you how to save time and effort (come fall) when all the leaves are carpeting your lawn.

There’s a few tips and tricks to picking up leaves with your mower so first you’ll see a quick-guide then some further detail below.

Quick-Guide How To Collect Leaves With Your Lawn Mower

You can either mow and bag the leaves. Then dispose of the leaves in the green waste or compost them. Or, you can mulch the leaves right back onto the lawn. Both are great options.

Option 1: Mow, Bag, Dispose

  • Set your mower to a high cutting height –> 3 inches is perfect
  • Start your mower and mow over the leaves until they are gone
  • Take the bag and dump the leaves into your green waste or your compost
  • That’s it

Option 2: Mulch The Leaves Back Onto The Lawn

  • A great way to return the nutrients to your lawn is to mulch the leaves
  • Remove the bag from your mower and set to mulching setting
  • Start your mower and mow all the leaves until they are finely cut up and mulched back into your lawn.
  • Done

Here’s a quick video:

How To Pick Up Leaves With Lawn Mower

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are falling and your lawn is covered. You could spend hours raking them up, or you could save yourself some time and use your lawn mower to pick them up.

Here’s how:

Step 1

How to pick up leaves with lawn mower

Mowing/mulching your leaves is a great way to save time and effort.

First, make sure that your lawn mower is in good working condition and that the blade is sharp. A dull blade will tear the leaves, making them more difficult to pick up.

Step 2

Next, adjust the height of your mower so that it’s set to its highest setting. This will allow the blade to pass over the leaves without damaging the turf beneath.

Step 3

Finally, simply mow over the leaves, and they’ll be collected in the grass catcher. Unload when it’s full.

And that’s it. You’ve now saved yourself hours of tedious leaf-raking.

Get A Lawn Mower With A Bagger or Mulching Option


A lawn mower with a leaf bag can be a great solution to this problem. Lawn mower bag systems collect the leaves as you mow, so you can quickly and easily dispose of them without having to stop and rake.


The shredded dry or wet leaves act as a natural mulch, returning nutrients to the soil and helping to prevent weed growth. So if you’re looking for a way to make fall yard work a little easier, consider investing in a 3-in-1 mower.

Make Sure The Blades Are Sharp

As anyone who has ever used a lawn mower knows, the blades need to be sharp in order to cut grass smooth. If the blades are dull, they will tear the leaves of the grass, creating more mess and clogging up the lawn mower. In addition, blunt blades are less effective at cutting grass, so it will take longer to mow the lawn.

As a result, it is important to make sure that the blades are always sharp on lawn mowers. There are a number of ways to sharpen lawn mower blades, but it is best to leave this task to a professional. Lawn mower blade sharpening services are usually relatively inexpensive, and they can save a lot of time and hassle in the long run.

Optional Step: Start By Raking The Leaves Into Piles So They’re Easier To Pick Up

  • First, start by raking the leaves into piles so they’re easier to pick up in a lawn mower.
  • Next, use a mulching option on your lawn mower to chop up the leaves as you mow. This will help to decompose the leaves more quickly and also reduce the amount of raking you’ll need to do in the spring.

Dispose Of The Leaves In A Compost Pile Or Green Waste Landfill

Once you have collected the leaves with your lawn mower you need to decide what to do with them. The most common options are to either compost them or throw them away in a green landfill. If you choose to compost the leaves, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • First, make sure that the leaves are shredded or chopped into small pieces. This will help them break down more quickly.
  • Second, be sure to add other organic materials to the compost pile, such as grass clippings or fruit and vegetable scraps.
  • Finally, make sure that the compost pile is kept moist but not wet, and that it is turned regularly so that air can circulate.

If you choose to dispose of the leaves in a landfill, there are a few things you need to keep in mind as well.

  • First, be sure to check with your local landfill to see if there are any special requirements for disposing of yard waste.
  • Follow the requirements whether the leaves need to be bagged or just dumped into a bin.

Wrap Up

Picking up leaves with a lawn mower is a great way to save time and effort. By following the tips in this article, you can make sure that your lawn mower is up to the task. And, by disposing of the leaves properly, you can help reduce your impact on the environment.

Further Reading

  • Only the best lawn mowers have all the features you’ll need at an affordable price. We recommend based on value for money. Check out our ranking.
  • A common question is how loud is a lawn mower? In that article we tackle the question comparing a lawn mower to other home goods like a vacuum and chainsaw.
  • And just for some fun, why not have a read about who invented the lawn mower.

About your guide: Jamey Kramar is a certified Lawn Care Manager (NALP) and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about outdoor power equipment for 13 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, HowStuffWorks, iFixit,, and more. He spends his spare time obsessing over his 1/4 acre lawn.