Leaf shredding


N

Nick Turner

If you have a plot that you want to be ready for crops in the spring, spread your leaves on it, cover with a piece of black plastic (builder's membrane is good for this), and leave worms and slugs to do your dismantling for you. Next March their nutrition will be in the soil where you need it - and few, if any, weeds to hamper your digging. Less work. Less cost. And the leaves stay where you've put them.

There are some who relish any opportunity to make jobs in their gardens, just so they can be involved, but, if you want or need to apply some level of efficiency in yours, I recommend you use nature where possible to help you. As you're new to it, you'll quickly realise there are often many views on one subject? All can work for you. (e-mail address removed) if you want more detail.
 
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NigelJ

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I wait until the leaves are wet and rake them up with a spring tined rake, scoop the leaves into a builders dumpybag using a couple of bits of plywood drag bag out of the way and leave. Takes 1 to 2 years to form leaf mould, centre usable earlier. Wet leaves rot down quicker and are easier to handle than dry leaves, which can be difficult to wet thoroughly once heaped up. Depending on wind strength, direction and enthusiasm I get 1 to 2 bags a year.
 
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I need this-------https://www.gappower.com/Leaf-Vacuum-Dump-Trailer-12yd-Capacity/item/VACBOX


 
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Unshredded leaves which have been trampled down take about the same length of time as shredded ones. How long depends on the kind of trees. Oak leaves take a lot longer than Beech. Evergreen leaves take even longer.
Next spring I am going to build a wire netting area with fence posts so I can use even more of the leaves which we now have by the ton. Probably do a three section system (In, Pending and Out) so that they get turned twice bfore being used.
 
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Unshredded leaves which have been trampled down take about the same length of time as shredded ones. How long depends on the kind of trees. Oak leaves take a lot longer than Beech. Evergreen leaves take even longer.
Next spring I am going to build a wire netting area with fence posts so I can use even more of the leaves which we now have by the ton. Probably do a three section system (In, Pending and Out) so that they get turned twice bfore being used.
Turning them is a pain. Yall wanna invent something to turn them and give the proceeds to charity?
 
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I rather enjoy turning them. Used to turn the big compost heap we had at the other place. Now that was hard. We produced something like 6 cubic metres of compost a year. Nowhere near as much weight in leaves!
 
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I had very good results with a string trimmer and wet leaves. They shredded very, very well.

I put leaves in a plastic trash can, donned safety goggles and worked the trimmer up and down a few times. The end result looked more like stiff, cooked oatmeal than the dry oatmeal flake look. I saved some "pulp" & dried it to see how it looked. The pieces were tiny, little flakes.

The end product then got mixed in my garden dirt with a shovel. If it isn't totally disintegrated by spring, it will serve as air entraining add-mix to our heavy, clay garden.

Dry Leaves-
When the leaves were dry & the can standing vertically, I ended up wearing more pieces than stayed in the can (but it was fun). Propping the can so it was at about a 45 degree angle to the ground (opening up) helped keep the tiny, dry pieces in the can.

Science Project-
Next spring, when the 'wasters' throw away string trimmers & trash cans that dare to be dirty, I think I'll trash pick one of each and experiment with making a thing similar to the commercial string trimmer leaf shredders. (Example- SunJoe SDJ616) It won't be time-efficient to build, but why not re-use already existing plastic instead of causing more to be made by buying a new tool?

PS: Always remember to wear safety eye protection with any rotating or striking tool (and more...).

Have Fun Leaf Wrecking!
Paul
 
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