I live outside Fort Worth TX and last winter I did not put a cover on our in-ground pool. This winter we left on our solar cover. Between my two oak trees and my neighbors live oak our pool gets it's share of leaves. Last winter I routinely used the leaf net to keep it clean. I think I will stay using the solar cover from now on. During the fall when the leaves fell I simply used the blower to blow the leaves across the cover and mulched them with the mower into a bag for easy cleanup. There were two big concentrations of leaves on the floor but the water was clear as I kept the chlorine numbers up. I probably spent 30 minutes total today going out in several 5 minute trips and the pool looks pretty darn good. I then let the robot go which had not been in during the winter and if not for the 62º it looks ready to swim. My Borates dropped to 30ppm though but will make a trip to the store tomorrow to bump it back to 50. If it will only stay in the upper 70's like it has been it won't be long.
I have to do some research for a part time solar panel to help warm up the water early and help keep it warm a little longer in the fall.