Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Suck It Up

The majority of my neighbors subscribe to the "no leaf left behind" philosophy of fall lawn clean-up. When the first snow flake falls into their yard, it falls on shortly clipped, leaf free grass. I honestly think some of them take time off of work to regularly remove leaves.

Out of necessity, my approach is a little more laissez faire. A leaf here or there does not bother me. Even if I wanted to follow The Philosophy, my lack of time and stamina would pretty much put an end to those aspirations. This does not mean that I don't feel the peer pressure. After all, who wants to be known in the neighborhood as the house that does not rake properly?

So, this year I bought a Toro (A MN company) Rake & Vac - electric mulcher. It sucks the leaves up and slices them into small shreds. All the owner has to do is spend some time walking around the yard trailed by an electric cord and strapped by a huge leaf bag. I can do that.

I was a little dubious of how well it would work, but I have to say...thumbs up. Other than the fact that the machine seems to have been made for a 7 ft man (the bag dragged on the ground behind me even on it's smallest strap setting)....and the bag should zip from the bottom up (to make emptying it into a trash bag smoother), it was quite easy to use.

I usually bag about 15 bags of leaves.....this year 7. I also was able to put some of those leaves in my compost bins and over my perennials knowing that they actually would break down over the winter.


Jennifer said...

Very cool! I, too, am one of the last rakers... this year I gave up and raked them all into my flower beds instead of trying to bag them! I like that it chops them up for you as you go!

Trissa said...

Sounds like it's worth it- I leave whatever is in the garden beds there and rake up the rest. The chopping would be great.

Josh @ Bungalow '23 said...

I've had one of these blower vacs for a few years have liked how well it shreds the leaves. The strap on the bag is definitely too long-- I tied a knot in mine to shorten it to a usable length.

That said, I went back to using the rake this year because I didn't like the noise of the blower and I didn't think it was saving me much time.

Yzzawizzle said...

Überkool. I was thinking of getting an electric mulcher, but the expense gave me pause. Yay! somthing else to research. Now if they just made an electric hedge trimmer that sucked up the debris and mulched it at the same time I'd be in business. Love your blog, I too am the proud owner of a falling down about my ears 1924 Stucco House.

StuccoHouse said...

Jennifer & Trissa - I've raked my leaves into my garden for the past coupl of years. Although, last Spring is dawned on me that it was far worse to deal with those wet moldy leaves after the snow melted. I aksi suspected that they were contributing to my garden's slug "situation." My backyard has two giant oak trees and for some reason those oak leaves never break down when they are whole.

23 - This mulcher really does work pretty well. It's even surprisingly quiet - I was a little worried about that. My neighbor's blower is much louder.

Wizzle - yea, I'd buy a mulching hedge trimmer too! Tying up those branches is a pita. I do have a battery operated one that is ok. 1924 was a good year, huh?

The Litter Box House said...

Mmmm.. I want! Guess what goes on the Litter Box House Xmas list... I raked my butt load of leaves onto my gardens for the first time this year. I was bummed to see a nice chunk of them blown back into my yard - even after a hose down to get them to mat up. I have no idea what it's going to be like when I get back in the garden next spring. Hopefully I didn't put down too many leaves!


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