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Best tool to clean up leaves  RSS feed

 
Peter Robins
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I have many trees in my yard . One area creates a natural large pile and the rest of leaves are spread out . I currently use a reel blade to mow.  It's a small yard . I also have a weedWacker.  I am trying to decide if I should get a leaf vacuum or stationary shredder or something else . I need something not to expensive. 

What would work best for mulching / clean up ?
 
David Livingston
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I use a rake it requires no external fuel input very cheap I can repaire it and should last my lifetime
I let nature do the work of rotting the leaves down
David
 
Roy Hinkley
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I like a leaf blower/vac with a metal impeller.  Blow them into a pile and then the vacuum chops them as they go in another pile about 1/10th the size. Use this as mulch, never blows away and breaks down faster.

This one is a later model than mine with some extra features.
 
David Livingston
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Hi Ray just out of curiosity how much does this or these machine cost ? How much fuel does it take per year ?
Say it lasts 7 years and costs 280 $ and uses 10$ fuel per year that's a yearly cost of 50$
I recon my rake cost 20 $ and will last say 20 years giving a yearly cost of 50 $ that's 1 for the rake a 49$ for the beer
I joke but do you see my point ?

David
 
Su Ba
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Yup, a rake is cheaper. No contest there! But the leaf blower/vac is probably faster, easier on one's back and shoulders, plus has the benefit of producing a chopped product suited to use as a nice mulch. Guess it all depends upon one's preferences which way to go.
 
David Livingston
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Not so sure if the blower is better for your back as it weighs far more than my rake 

David
 
chip sanft
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Proper rake size and technique make all the difference on the back: an easy sweep at full upright, not hunched over or using your back. Just was thinking about this same thing today as I raked up leaves from our neighbor's oak (which fall in large quantities on our yard) and transferring them to the garden. End result: pop in a good podcast and enjoy an hour's pleasant exercise + task accomplished at basically no cost. I'm with David.
 
Su Ba
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Approaching 70 years of age and doing 8+ hours of significant physical labor a day creating & running a 20 acre farm I think I'd opt for the blower, especially since I'd end up with nice mulch material. Now if I were only taking care of a small yard, I'd again need to consider my age, physical condition and abilities, and time. Perhaps it would be the rake, but then again perhaps not. Every situation and person is different, yes?

The one thing that permies.com has really brought to light, for me that is, is that everyone's situation is different and there is no one best answer. No "one size fits all". Personally I find this revelation is amazing to learn so late in my life......but isn't life grand? Never too old to learn something new or try something different!
 
David Livingston
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Totally agree Su , l just have a natural inclination to fight back against the prevailing consumerist mindset

David
 
William Bronson
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I have considered  starting business removing leaves from homes.
The point would be to harvest the fertility and get paid for it.
Could I rake? Not efficiently. What about transportation?
Shredding them would make that process more efficient.
So... it depends!😁
 
David Livingston
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Yes William l can see the point if you are trying to offer a service but that's not what l think the op is talking about .different economics apply

David
 
casey lem
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Peter, leaves are an excellent resource, use all that you can. I currently rake into piles, collect w/ a leaf vac, then finish w/ a mulching lawn mower before applying to garden beds in fall. By spring almost everything is in the soil. If you don't want to buy the extra equipment, I used to rake into piles and vigorously attack w/ a reel mower. Lots of work. You said you have a weed whacker. Could you set something up like holding that in the top of a trash while someone dumps in dry leaves( make shift shredder)? Just keep in mind this might be a bit dangerous, safety first. Anyhoo, keep using leaves.
 
Todd Parr
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For $77.00 I bought this one this year:  Toro leaf blower 

It took me about an hour to shred an amount of leaves that would fill approx. 150 bags into 15 bags.  Mulched leaves break down into great soil pretty quickly.  I have used un-mulched leaves in my garden, dug into the area 3 years later and found a layer of matted, basically solid leaves.  I can easily fit 15 bags of leaves into my pickup.  Since I got the leaves 5 miles from my house, I would have had to make quite a number of trips to bring home 150 bags of leaves.  By the time I figure in cost of gas, cost of trash bags, and my time, I figure the Toro paid for itself the first time I used it.  The blower has a shoulder strap and having done both raking, which I enjoy, and using the Toro, I can tell you the Toro is much easier.  The only drawback is that it is loud and I don't like noise.  I'm more than willing to handle the noise for the short time it takes to handle that amount of leaves.  It is electric, so I used it with my portable generator.  I used less than a gallon of gas if I remember correctly.  Definitely less than 2 gals.  If the leaves were in my yard, I would have used my extension cord and very little electricity.  No contest as far as I'm concerned.
 
Walt Chase
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I have a large area (measured in acres) that the leaves pretty much HAVE to be removed each fall.  Raking is not really an option.  I use a Stihl backpack blower to blow them to an area that is accessible by vehicle.  I have a "billy goat" debris loader that has a 10 inch diameter suction hose that sucks them up, chews them up and blows them into a box built onto the back of the truck.  Works amazingly well, cuts the time and effort spent down to probably 1/10th of what manual raking and hauling off would be. One truck load of debris loader leaves is about the same volume as 10 or 12 loads of conventionally raked and loaded leaves.    While not an option for everyone it is a life saver for me.  Up side to using the debris loader is that I get pre mulched leaves for the huge compost pile I make each fall.
 
Neil G Jay
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I just use a wide leaf rake and an old shallow frying pan to scoop them up and put them into bags.
 
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