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What size tarp is the ideal size for leaf cleanups?


LawnSite Senior Member
spokane, wa
I saw a 7x7 with drawstring the other day, but it looked too small for major cleanups...some are too big...what are you all using? Do you all use ropes to tie it or some kind of clip--perhaps bungies...just some small questions to throw out there...I know that the size is what works best for the individual, but I am sure that there is an ideal size out there cause one can only lift or drag so much...


LawnSite Member
Lititz, Pa
I use an 8x10. Have a rope threaded to all the gromets. I pull together and carry it like santa claus and throw in the trailer. Works for me. If it is real heavy for me I tie to my mower and pull it. So far I have not ripped a tarp. So far.:)


LawnSite Fanatic
McMurray, PA
I use 8X10, sometimes carrying them, sometimes dragging them. In those places where leaves need to be hauled away, I carry them over my shoulder, just grabbing all four corners for a handle. I've never used a rope through the gromets. I have 7X7 tarps for grass clippings, but can use a larger one for leaves. Any larger tarp is difficult to throw over the shoulder - I am 5'9" and the tarp hangs too low in the back (hits the back of my legs/feet). If the leaves are soaking wet and heavy, then the 7X7 will work better.

When dragging, I will load with a fuller load, then hook the rear two corners together. On each short side, I have a hook, one taken from a broken bungee cord, secured to one gromet. I merely hook it to the other short side corner before dragging so that the load can be greater.

In some of the dragging cases, I'm sure I could use a larger tarp. But, I've settled on the 8X10, as I often can drag two at a time. When I have long distances to drag, and have my w/b mower handy (w/ BullRider attached), I put two corners of each tarp on the platform, stand on the corners, and then can drag the full tarp(s) to save walking.

I use the blue tarps, and they have several years of service behind them. I'm amazed at how well they stand up for all the abuse. I do take care NOT to drag across concrete or paved areas.


LawnSite Silver Member
Ontario, Canada
Here's my cheap bustard tip of the day.
I go to lumber yards and get their old lumber tarps. Most places are glad to be rid of them as they take a lot of space and are expensive to dispose of. They are about 12' x 20' so I cut them to whatever size I want and throw them away when they rip.


LawnSite Fanatic
Flint, Michigan
7x7 and 8x10 are just too small. I have found over the years that 10x12 or just slightly larger are the ideal size. Don't make the mistake of going too big like a 12x16, either. These things just get too heavy too easily. It can be decieving, besause it looks as though you have plenty of room on there, so you wnt to get that last little bit. Unfortunately, that can be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Darryl G

I use 8 x 10 and 10 x 12 Cordura Nylon or 1000 Denier tarps. The only thing I use poly tarps for is covering my tractor and soil piles. They don't fold well, don't stay put well, and don't hold up well IMO.


LawnSite Senior Member
Uhhh well, I guess I'll be the odd man out as I use a 12 X 16.

Its the only way to move any decent volume. For you guys that have velkies, take the end two corners of your fully loaded 12 X 16 tarp, wrap them together, stick your legs through, jump on your velkie and drag them anywhere you want them using your leg bones. Been doing it for years and no problems yet :)


LawnSite Fanatic
Clinton, NJ
Ideal size is one that is folded neatly and stays in my shop 24/7. No way in hell would I ever take a job on that would require a tarp to get rid of leaves. Talk about taking a slow boat to China...


LawnSite Gold Member
Nashua, NH
Whatever is in the shed, usually a 8*10 i think, so i can get it into the trailer full!


LawnSite Senior Member
I use 10-12 wide by 16 or 18' long.One person gets front, and the other brings up the rear. As long as the leaves arent soaked, it pulls fine.