As that time nears and I cannot afford to hire someone this year to
rake/blow all the leaves in my yard, I am destined to accomplish this
unpleasant feat by myself.
As I already have a Toro electric blower which is good for small things, the
pros seem to use a wheeled gas powered blower to move them enmass to a huge
pile for bagging/disposal.
I've just looked at Consumers Reports and they rate (on their scale) a Toro
Electric the same as a gas powered wheeled blower. How can this be?
For any of you readers who have first hand experience I would appreciate any
comparisons that can be provided regarding electric, gas backpack or gas
All help, advice, recommendations greatly appreciated.
The electric units work fine for the average homeowner - around the house.
You are remember, tethered by an electrical cord of maybe 75"
The landscape guys use the gas models BECAUSE they need to move around
more than that & how many folks would let them hook up an extension wire.
Got it? :)
One of those cheap blue 10x10 tarps plus rope handles added to the
corners, and 4 bricks (or laundry soap jugs full of water or sand) to
weigh down the corners, is a great way to move large piles if you have a
place to dump them. (I have a back fenceline with trees that works
well.) Just blow/rake onto the tarp, grab the corner loops, and pull.
If you will be bagging them, buy one of those things to hold the bag
open so you can rake into it, and some sort of yard cart to move the
bags to the curb as you fill them. A farmer-style aluminum scoop shovel
makes a great companion to the usual leaf rake for picking up and
stuffing bundles of leave- use it like giant salad tongs.
For a single lot, electric is the way to go, IMHO. Those little gas
engines are fussy. Buy a good contractor-grade 100-foot cord, and a set
of earmuffs to wear. Even the electric ones can trash your hearing. I've
been rather happy with the 50-buck electric Toro I bought the first fall
after I bought this place- abused the hell out of it and it still
works. The vacuum bag attachment is useless, like on most, but it blows
great. Even use it for clearing dry snow, if it isn't deep enough to
drag out the gas snow blower.
Where I live we're faced with truly monumental leaf fall.
I'm determined to deal with the leaves myself until I'm too old.
I've tried most of the smaller equipment including electric blowers.
They just don't cut it.
The gas back pack blower is enough for my needs.
A walk behind would be over kill.
Around here the pros use a combination of one walk behind and one or
more additional back pack blowers.
With the back pack blower I can blow the leaves into piles then
rake the leaves into a large wheeled container and then dump
the leaves into a compost pile.
If I had to bag the leaves I think I would invest in a shredder.
Because if you don't leave at least some grass showing, it dies?
Unless you mow daily, that doesn't work. When the uncompressed leaf
layer is six inches thick, you CAN'T mow them- the mower stalls out. I
start out mowing my leaves every fall, but when the major drop happens,
it just isn't an option. I don't landfill them, though- I have a back
corner with trees and chainlink fence on 2 sides, that I blow/drag them
all into. They end up waist high, but by the time the grass elsewhere in
the yard starts growing again in spring, they are down to six inches of
mulch. I don't garden, so the next owner of this place will have several
years worth of compost to play with.
spaced over a little less than half an acre. They are just very big
mature trees is all, including a couple with huge leaves. Legacy trees,
that predate the 1960 subdivision- no way do they get cut down, as long
as they are healthy. (Not sure of the exact species, other than the one
maple) I also get some of the neighbor's leaves, due to the prevailing
wind. It takes over an hour to mow the back- I'm not eager to do that
every other day during leaf drop season, which is about what it would
take to stay ahead of them. Plus of course I still have to hand-clear
all the areas the mower can't go.
I do mulch them in, until the drop rate exceeds what a weekly mow can
+1, I think they should be outlawed. All they do is blow the mess
elsewhere, so someone else has to use a broom or a rake and garbage
bags that the original leaf blower should have used in the first
I would suggest that buying a gasoline engined tool to use for one
job a year is not a really great idea. After a couple of years, you
likely will be facing a gummed up fuel system and a real bother to
use. It also will likely be marginal utility, unless you buy a true
professional model. If your electric is not enough then hire someone
who has the big industrial equipment, or as I do, mulch the leaves.
It really is far better for most lawns. It adds organic matter and
feeds the lawn.
Note: This does not apply to all parts of the world. In some areas
you do need to get the leaves, but frankly most people who rake,
On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 08:22:28 -0700 (PDT), email@example.com
I should say this somewhere. My next door neighbor bought a new lawn
mower this spring, and was already having trouble starting it a week
ago. He got it running I think, but he's some sort of auto mechanic
I used to think that the reason I didn't have a very green lawn like
some of my neighbors was the mulched leaves. But since I used spray
on weedkiller this spring, I don't think that's the reason anymore. I
think my lawn was always green, when there was enough rain, but the
dandelions and other weeds were a distraction.
I've seen a dethatching blade, but not a mulching blade.
I the fall, which is the only time I have many leaves, the leaves are
dry and wrinkled and there is a lot of empty space in the layer of
leaves. The layer of leaves is much thicker than if the leaves were
flat. When the leaves are wet on the outside, I wait before mowing
the lawn, but the outside dries out quickly and the inside is still
brittle, I think.
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