Leaf shreaders for home owners

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Any reccomendations on Leaf shreaders for home owners?
Thanks
Dan
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Yeah - a waste of time - lots of work for very little benefit and time wasted - a waste of money. Just use your mower (with bagger if you have one)
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Danny said:

Bought ours from Sears. Shreds finer and faster than using a lawn mower. Far more practical for a garden fanatic.
http://www.yardener.com/ElectricLeafShredderbyCraftsman.html
We shred large amounts of leaves each fall, for use in mulching and composting the next year. We've got a B&D leaf vacuum to pick up the leaves and blow them into the Sears shredder. The Sears shredder sits on top of a garbage can lined with extra-heavy-duty contractor cleanup bags and the finely shredded leaves get compressed as we go along. Close off the bags with a nylon tie-wrap and store them upside-down.
We bring in 70+ bags of leaves from around the neighborhood, plus what falls in our own and next door neighbor's yard. The shredded leaves (mixed with some cocoa shells) mulch the perennial beds and the vegetable garden, plus serve as a major ingredient in batches of compost.
I also use the Sears shredder to chop up straw (for deep mulching potatoes or patching the lawn) and shred newspaper (to add to the compost).
I really think someone is missing a business opportunity to sell bales of dry, compressed shredded leaves to gardeners. They are far more useful than baled peat. (I just recently saw big bags of dry, shredded straw for sale, so maybe...)
--
Pat K. ('someplace.net' is comcast)

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
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That would be a small electric shredder. You must be spending many hours breathing in that dust.
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Sounds like the machine that washes my grease rags. I try to stay up-wind of it if I can. (the dryer is worse)
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My new Toro self-propelled lawn mower mulches them. I love it. The only thing I have to worry about is a wind vortex makes a large pile in one spot, but we just bag those up.
I love mulching the grass, too, doesn't leave a mess and don't have to bother with a bagger.
If and when I get into composting, there's plenty of other stuff I can throw in that. Come to think of it, all the leaves I didn't shred for years have worked themselves into some planting areas and made the soil more arable, easier to work.
One year I raked and had 30 of those plastic bags full and wasn't near done. So I gave up on it, just left them to feed the lawn the following years. But they are a fire hazard so I'm glad to have this new mower. I didn't want to bother with a mower where you had to change the blade.

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The grass is good to include in the compost pile because it adds nitrogen that helps the pile cook.
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I'm sure you're right about that. But I have nasty memories of when my son was a teenager and started cutting the grass for me (bless him for that). He dumped it in the back and I had a huge mess I finally cleaned up. We didn't know about composting then.
Composting has its benefits but is just more work and I have plenty as it is. I was going to give it a try in a nice wide plastic bucket type thing I found with ropes for handles. I notice it has a crack in the bottom which would let the water drain out. Maybe it would work anyway or I could put duct tape on it. But it will have to be satisfied with crabgrass and weeds and if I ever get rid of that, I don't know what I'll put in there.

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I used to build bins and turn compost over like they all recommend but now I just make very big piles and let is sit for over a year without doing much to it. I do add garbage for a few months and pull out the largest weeds that grow in it - otherwise it's pretty much on it's own. But it sounds like you are a lot neater than I am so you might not be content with stuff that doesn't bother me.
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I make really big piles and pour five or six gallons of kerosine on them, then my hound dog runs across the pile with a lit kerosene rag haning out of his mouth. (it's fun to watch)
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I doubt I'm neater; I'm the scourge of the neighborhood. Everybody has their lawns perfect, beautiful landscaping, houses with everything, if not perfect, kept in good repair, and I struggle. I could handle a pile somewhere so long as it doesn't get junk and broken glass mixed in like that pile did. Setting that red plastic bucket out would be a eyesore now that I am finally starting to get some flowers and beautification projects going again. And if I didn't read usenet, I could burn my garage down because I was going to get it going in a handy place where the gas cans are (accessible in the mess in there) and I already knew that it generated heat. I don't exactly see how, but maybe it could with fumes. Stuff is packed in there, another mess, potter's wheel I don't want to part with, son dumped his weights on me, the guy who did my cement work wanted to store his lumber in there. I don't care until unless it gets to be too long. I let the grandson of the people next door store his motorcycle in there. He left a couple of huge containers full of dirty oil. Finally I got fed up with that and sat out there and funnelled it into pepsi bottles, and my son took it somewhere. It took awhile to get all that oil in those bottles and capped. I think he took it to the recycling center, but I wouldn't count on it. A guy wanted to buy the bike from me, but no, I didn't have the papers, didn't know where the kid was, didn't feel like calling his relatives.
One day after more than 5 years he shows up with trailer and wants his motorcycle. Was I glad to get that out of there.
The reason I balk at any pile is I constantly have a pile of brush I dump behind my tree from all the trees in my hard. I can cut it up with a chainsaw, but almost cut my finger off once, so am not so quick to get that out, still have to get rid of it. We can burn again on certain days, but I have to stand out there for hours and watch it. So I want until I can get somebody to haul it away cheap. Sometimes somebody goes through the alley wanting to pick up a few bucks. $20 is about all I want to pay. If I have them take it to the landfill, they charge another $10 which would make it $30. If I chop it up small enough to put in those bio bags, I have to buy a sticker which is $1.36? Can't remember. Bah. I'm waiting for my granddaughter's boyfriend to come pick it up and dump it behind his workplace where they burn, but he hasn't showed up yet and I don't want him getting in trouble with his employer over it. Last time it went to somebody's firepit. Doesn't matter. As soon as it's gone, there will be another pile there. I'm sick of piles :-).
Oh, and I've spent hours cutting the bigger pieces and tying it up in regulation size bundles. Then they will take it for free.
Couple nice cherry logs I was saving for him because he said he wanted them. Those I can burn in the fireplace.
My little rant for the day. You used to set it out by the garbage and they just picked it up. But, no now we have to go hi tech. We have new garbage cans that belong to the city and a truck with an arm will now collect the trash. That will be a disaster in the winter because the alley doesn't get plowed. Plus an extra $8 a month (what else is new?) and you can only have one can, you still can put out old furniture, wood, blah blah, but if you put out one extra bag of garbage, they really sock it to you for that. It's maddening. I'm very neat about the way I put out my garbage. Now I'll have to hose out a damn can because it will get to stinking eventually.

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Thanks for that little story - brought a smile to my face.
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I Love Lucy said:

ROFL Good read!
--
Eggs

-If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Do you mulch or bag?
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Steveo said:

I've never had a bagger. I think they're a pain in the ass. If the grass is too tall to mulch, then I'll take the blocking plate off the discharge chute, and rake the clippings. One or two times like that usually provides enough grass clippings to stir into the leaves from the fall and gets my compost going. =)
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wrote:

Now there's a good compromise for me at least with the grass. Thanks for the idea. I hate to buy more stuff, but I saw at the hardware store that have some plastic barrels with handles you turn every so often. I will *consider* getting one of those if I can't find an improvised solution.

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I Love Lucy said:

I looked at those, and it seems a good solution for small-scale composting. I opted to build my own a few years ago, and am glad that I did. It's three bins, each 3x3x3 feet, with removable slats down the front, and 1/4" nylon mesh on the remaining sides. It worked great, provided it was turned. This year, I put my vegetable garden in raised beds, and filled them with a mix of 50% river-bottom topsoil (screened thru a 3/8" screen), 25% composted manure and 25% composted yard waste (both screened thru a 1/2" screen). I won't be needing fresh compost for a few years, I don't think, so I've been a bit lax in turning it. Too many other things to do right now, and no hurry on that one.
As was stated earlier in the thread, you do need some grass clippings in with the leaves (approx 20% grass should do fine), in order to move the composting process along. It also helps to let the grass clippings dry out a bit, before adding them to the compost. I'd spread mine out on a tarp on the driveway until they'd start to brown a bit, and then add them. Looked a bit strange to my neighbors, until they saw what I was doing with it. I think I saw a tarp of them, on a driveway down the street, the other day. =)
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wrote:

You can also add lawn fertilizer (high in nitrogen) to the compost to help is cook. I buy a couple broken bags at the end of the year - they practically give it away.
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Srgnt Billko said:

I'll sometimes grab a couple extra containers of worms, when I'm goin' fishin', and dump them in, also.
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wrote:

Our Dalmation loves to hunt for those big fat juicey worms when we are digging in the compost pile. She thinks she's "eating well".
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