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Soil and Composting: Leaf Shredder

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 11, Views: 137
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11cindy11
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7b)

May 11, 2013
5:25 AM

Post #9516602

I'd like to purchase an electric leaf shredder, to produce mulch for small perennials, also use in my compost pile to speed up the process. I've looked online and there are so many conflicting reviews. It would be nice if the machine could chip small twigs and shred leaves, but it seems the chippers don't shred leaves very well, and vice versa. Does anyone have some experience with mulching leaves? What would you recommend? What brand and model?
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

May 11, 2013
7:20 PM

Post #9517358

if youre looking for a machine to do both shred leaves and chip small twigs..
i dont know..but..an inexpensive way to shred leaves is to use a mulching
mower..i spread the leaves over the ground.. mow over a couple times..
the mulching mowers shred leaves to smaller pieces than regular mower..
i have done this for yrs now.. last yr i got around 100+ bags..some yrs i have
been more ambitious and had as many as 300 bags of leaves..
and youre right.shredded leaves are super as mulch and for the compost..
there is another thread on this topic too..with others "chipping" in.. :) couldnt
help myself...:)
good luck...

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

May 12, 2013
8:56 AM

Post #9517840

ditto the mower works well on leaves, and you don't have to bend over so many times to pick up the leaves and put them inot the shredder. A bagging mower helps; seems like our bagging mower shredded ok too.

We used a neighbor's gas chipper/ shredder?? on leaves last year and it was slow going, having to gradually feed the small chute VS running over piles with mower.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 13, 2013
7:09 PM

Post #9519569

I ujse a small electric lawn mower. Not very satifactory, and it blows shreds and chips for yards.

There's 34 posts in this thread:
]http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1089195/

I recall some people shred leaves in a 30 gallon trash can, by plunging a weed-whacker into it.
applefarmer2701
Vergennes, VT

May 23, 2013
1:10 PM

Post #9531388

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.
scbuttercup
(Judy) Simpsonville, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 18, 2013
3:56 AM

Post #9563078

We use a mower with a bag attachment to catch the leaves, very easy and effective. Cuindy you are in Greenville too, hello! (waving)
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 18, 2013
3:38 PM

Post #9564056

i just mowed down another 14 bags of leaves..for new summer compost..
whew.. its #$(%&((#3 hot out there.. LOL
my neighbours tells me..im either crazy..or an englishman.. to go out
in hot afternoon and work..
mmm maybe im both..??? :)
i used my mulching lawnmower.. does a great job at fine chopped leaves...
todays compost is...
shredded leaves, grass clippings, straw, alittle soil, and several buckets of
rabbit manure/alfalfa tea ...
should heat up fast ...
i tend to turn mine frequently.. it never really gets "hot/hot".. but it does
get to usable stage pretty fast...
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 24, 2013
7:46 PM

Post #9572015

cant believe it..hasnt even been a week..and compost has
reduced by 1/2 already..
im gonna turn it next couple days.. add more straw,leaves,grass clippings..
also i need more alfalfa pellets..
i get mine at local feed store.. one of the best discoveries ive made in last
couple yrs.. its rabbit feed..but almost all alfalfa.. alot cheaper than buying
alfalfa meal..
i use it in compost (i soak it 1st..let it get all mushy) then add to compost..
i use couple gallons in my compost tea mix.with rabbit manure..then fill up
my 2- 50 gal plastic garbage cans with water..let sit for a week..and mmmm
good stuff.. LOL :) but plants sure like it.. so do the roses, even the lawns..

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 25, 2013
5:32 PM

Post #9573207

I just learned that pine tree roots infiltrated my compost heap!

I sure hope that really new, thin feeder roots can be cut without hruting the tree too much! I'm moving my heap, but may have to put plastic under it to keep bush roots out (Rhododendron, and Azalea).
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 27, 2013
7:37 PM

Post #9576377

whew..is it hot here!!!
im reverting back to how as a kid we ran thru the sprinklers to
cool off.. :)
the bandana on the head keeps me "sort of coolish"..but geesh..
and running around out there..barefeet..(i hate shoes !!!)..woopppie..
step on a rock..thats solarized all day long.. HOT..
i will turn the newest compost tomorrow.. add more stuff to it..
spots i dug in alot of compost and planted cannas..they are enjoying the
not drying out so much..the cannas might get to how high they have in yrs past..
they are musafolia.. and have gotten 12ft+ before..with a good start in early summer...
rick..watch those roots!!! :)

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

July 1, 2013
5:24 AM

Post #9581282

I kept my old Murray lawn mower that wasn't self propelled because it was MUCH better at bagging than the newer self-propelled TORO I got to replace it. The old one still work fine but gets not much use. I did get the blade sharpened to make it chop better.

So, if you are serious about chopping leaves, maybe you can buy an older bagging lawn mower from a neighbor - maybe they just got a riding lawnmower? Make sure it bags well AND that you can still buy a replacement bag at Home Depot or your similar big box store. The bags do rot out after a few years.

Paul
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

July 1, 2013
6:32 AM

Post #9581378

excellent idea paul..
ive always had a honda mower..they are $$..last yr i bought a 2nd hand
one from a guy that fixes up "older mowers" and sells them..
i replaced the blade.. $8 at HD.. its a mulching mower with a bag..im doing just
as you said.. chops the leaves fine..and they compost fast..also..break down
faster in the gardens i spade in ...in the fall..

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Other Soil and Composting Threads you might be interested in:

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Free compost, myth or truth JaiMarye 14 Oct 27, 2010 6:58 AM
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sterilizing options tiG 22 Mar 29, 2008 7:47 PM
Soil & Fertilizer: Compost Tea SoCal 119 Mar 5, 2008 11:18 PM


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