Clearing leaves is one of the annual fall chores for many gardeners. However, fines of at least 5,000 euros can be threatened. FOCUS online says what you have to pay attention to if you want to remove leaves in the garden in the evening.

Loose leaves on the garden floor can not only be a nuisance for aesthetic reasons, but should be removed consistently and promptly, above all for the benefit of the lawn.

Grass and evergreen plants need sufficient air and light, especially when the autumn and winter temperatures are low. However, if the lawn is covered by a layer of damp leaves, rot can sometimes occur, which can lead to increased moss growth and bare, yellowish spots.

In beds, on the other hand, the leaves should not be removed, but can even be left and used as a natural frost protection and organic soil fertilizer for plants. In addition, accumulations of leaves offer protection for insects and hedgehogs. You can find out in the video above why you should protect the latter in the garden.

Brooms, rakes or leaf blowers are usually used to remove leaves from the lawn. Especially with the latter, loose and widely distributed leaves can be removed particularly effectively. However, this can result in significant fines.

Although the blowers often save a lot of time and work, they can generate noise in excess of 110 decibels, sometimes louder than jackhammers and circular saws. Therefore, the 32nd ordinance for the implementation of the Federal Immission Control Act (BlmSchV) prescribes fixed periods in which leaf blowers may be used.

Incidentally, leaf blowers have been completely banned year-round in the Austrian cities of Graz and Leibnitz since 2014 and in some US municipalities since the 1970s.

In principle, the devices may only be used in residential areas on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The only exception to these times is for devices with a quieter electric motor (EC eco-label CE). You can use these between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays.

Leaf blowers may not be used on Sundays and public holidays. Additional rest periods may also apply in individual municipalities.

Incidentally, these rules also apply to:

hedge trimmers

FOCUS online advises: Ask in the district, in the town hall or in the community which rest periods apply to your location and be sure to stick to the above basic periods. Find out in advance about applicable additional rest periods from the respective municipalities.

While fundamental disturbances of the night’s sleep and rest periods on Sundays and public holidays can result in fines of up to 5,000 euros (§117 Law on Administrative Offenses, OWiG).

If companies violate the provisions of the BImSchG, for example if leaf blowers have a massive environmental impact, fines of up to 50,000 euros can apply. This applies roughly if leaf blowers are not allowed to be used in certain areas (§ 62 Section 4 BImSchG).

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