I think I am going to splurge and buy a leaf shredder this year. I need one that can also handle my dahlia stalks (I have tons in the fall). I think I prefer electric... gas engines are too much for me. Does anyone have one they really like and would recommend? thanks!!!
I just throw my leaves in the heap and they take care of themselves. Of course they really aren't my leaves I drive around looking for yards with bags in front. And the only time to find them is in winter so we have to use other brown stuff.
hmmm - wondering how well that would work up here - we're outside of Seattle & known for WET autumns. Portland might be a bit drier but our weather patterns are similar.
Trying to mow wet leaves on the wet lawn is a losing battle.
Can anyone else chime in on an electric leaf shredder?
A friend of mine keeps wet autumn leaves in trash bags over the winter in her garage, with a handful of soil tossed into each. By late spring or early summer, they're just leaf mold. Great stuff for gardens, and no shredding needed!
I've done this too & it does work well. But I'm trying to save the chopped leaves for growing potatoes, so I don't want them to break down too much. Thanks though - I'm sure others that are viewing would find this info quite useful, PP!
Katye several of us are currently growing potatoes in containers down south and using leaves to hill up. I'm in old washing machine tubs. There's potting soil n organics to the top of my tubs. Then I extended the vertical by wrapping plastic poultry wire around to make cages. I'm continuing to hill with leaves. From m current experience, if rather hill with chopped leaves than whole. Whole creates too many uneven crevices in the structure and wetting down is difficult because the water doesn't percolate to the bottom soil easily. JMHO...
Hi Linda - I had access to less Ieaves last fall, so what I had went into the raised beds for my worms and their buddies.
I've been growing potatoes this way for years, too - it's a clean, easy method. This year I'm using straw & compost which is working well. I don't think the potatoes really care. We have so many evergreens in this region, you really have to look hard for leaves from deciduous trees. I try to get enough to fill an area 6'x8'x3', which is the size of the potato bed. This year i'll try to hang out in an older ritzy residential area & bribe the landscapers for the leaves!
I saw your posts about the washing machine tubs - that's a cool idea. I did something similar the very first year I tried growing potatoes the "no-dig" way - large container with wire mesh as a surround, then filled to the top. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked: the ease of harvest & volume of potatoes made it a permanent way for me. so I built a shallow rised bed & surrounded that with fencing. Thus - the necessity for the quantity of leaves! I was trying to figure out an easy way of dealing with the wet leaves; I think I'll fill the old kennel, blow them with a leaf blower (like a giant hair dryer) and cover with a tarp for winter. I appreciate your input!
I meant to add blood meal to my compost bin - I purchased the blood meal, and casually mentioned to hubby that I wanted to turn the old compost into the now empty bin (I have two bins) - next thing I knew he had completed the task! So the blood meal didn't get into the bin!
I tried a small experiment last summer with blood meal in compost, and noticed my strawberries really took off when I used the compost as mulch.
I once kick-started a carbon-rich compost bin that didn't want to heat up by using a rake handle to jab a couple of holes deep down through the top of the lumpy crud, into which I poured blood meal, followed by water. It took off within 24 hours.
I'm glad this thread took off towards growing potatoes - I"m growing them for the first time this year, and had seen the method where a cage was erected around the potato. The guy just added old hay as the vines grew. I think he said he added kitchen waste and lawn clippings, too, just like a compost pile. Has anyone tried that?
I have some rather large (tomato?) cages the previous owner left behind. I guess they're about 3 feet in diameter and five feet high... would that be big enough to use? Do the vines grow up or out or both?
Honeybee, I am jealous. My husband, wonderful man that he is, is not prone to jump in and finish gardening tasks for me. How do you do it?
lovedirtynails - hubby and I both grew up in England with home-grown vegetables. We know that our own vegetables are free from pesticides, are as fresh as they can possibly be, and are loaded with vitamins!
We've been married since 1965 (or was it 1964?) and have always worked as a team.
Anne, if it were up to me I would live in Oregon. One year we took the coast highway from Seattle to - can't remember the name of the town in Oregon - where we cut inland to catch a plane to San Fransico.
From the photos I've seen online, I think I'd like Oregon.
I think it was Oregon where we were not allowed to pump our own gas?
Did you ever end up getting a shredder? If so, which one? I'm thinking of getting one too but I have small branches from many fruit trees and what not, so with the research I did, I'm going to need one that does more than leaves. Like up to 2 inch diameter stuff I think. I'd like a bigger one but that's probably overkill for as often as I'd use it. ... Anyhow... tell me about what you got, if anything. Please. :-)
There's always tool rental places ... if you can rent a good one 6 times for the price of a marginal one, it might be a good deal. But if you can only rent it four times for that price, maybe not. If you don't have much storage space, and don't want to maintenace on it, renting looks better and better.
I was thinking of putting requests on local bulletin boards, trading something for the loan of a chipper.
I usually just sharpen my electric lawn mower blade and run back and forth over sticks, then rake up the chips and mow them again (several times).
I keep thinking about flipping the mower over, setting something like a bottomless trash can over the base, and feeding sticks in from the top. And then thinking about the Emergency Room trying to stitch my head back on if I tripped and fell into it!
Buy a chipper - it's cheaper than a new head, hands ,etc.
Damien tried the mower routine but our mower is so old and gutless he said it would just ruin the mower. We got the chipper with a 3" wood feed and the leaf feed. Only problem is if the stuff that is green isn't pretty dry it really wants to clog up the feed. We had to use a stick to jam the stuff down so it would spit out. Now I put stuff in bags ASAP to try to keep it dry. I have five bags waiting. I raked up a bag of leaves and got two more from neighbors. Hoping they go through easier.
i also hope ya dont try that idea rick..:)
my mower does a good job on the leaves.. last yr borrowed neighbours mower too..
had 2 kids mow down all my leaves.. big thing is..mow them over couple times..
the finer the better.. neighbours mower was a mulching one..and it did a great job..
I have not yet had enough patience, or so much brush that I was very tempted to even TRY this theory, but it seems to me that it "should" work:
If you let twigs and banches sit in a damp pile for a year or two, and do keep it damp, and maybe throw some green yard waste in amongst the branchs, by the 2nd or third year it ought to be much easier to chip finely.
And, at that point, it "ought" to help push leaves through at the same time, even if they are somewhat damp.
Of course, if you let the leaves sit in a damp pile for that long, they won't need very much shredding.
I'm not sure how safe it is, but i am trying to make one out of an old flowtron by replacing the trimmer cord head with a small lawnmower blade. The flowtron does a decent job with just leaves, but the cord is so small that it can't handle anything else. The only draw back is that i have to pick everything up to dump it in, but i guess that's the case with the expensive shredders.