Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gathering Leaves for the Compost Bins

Today didn’t go as planned. I recently ordered a leaf blower/vacuum to help gather the leaves in my yard for composting. It arrived on Friday, but one of the handles was missing. Because I ordered online, instead of simply exchanging at the store, I have to send an email, wait for them to respond, and ship me the missing part.

It will probably be another week before the replacement comes in. I was hoping to get the majority of the leaves cleaned up this weekend. So K figured out a temporary substitution for the handle so I could use the leaf blower/vacuum today.

The blower was strong and it was easy to blow the leaves quickly into a pile. Then I switched over to the vacuum/mulcher mode. The unit is advertised to reduce leaves at a 12:1 ratio. When the bag filled I used the leaves to mulch the garlic bed. The leaves were beautifully shredded:

However after only three bags of shredded leaves, the metal zipper on the vacuum bag broke into several pieces and the bag could no longer be used. I was very disappointed and sent a follow up email to the place I purchased the unit.

With the leaves already gathered into piles, I raked them onto a tarp then dragged the tarp across the yard to the compost bin area.

It was bit more labor intensive than I planned, but at least the leaves are gathered into one area for now. I need to acquire more pallets to build the compost bins because the woodpile required more pallets than I thought it would.

It was an absolutely beautiful day to work outside. Overall this past week has been warmer than expected allowing me to get a lot of things in the yard accomplished before winter. I am back to work on Monday, so today’s warm temps around 64˚F/18˚C were a nice way end to my vacation week.


  1. Thumbs up for the leaves ! Thumbs down for the blower, though. That is so disappointing ! I hope you get a prompt replacement for the bag (and get your handle too !). Glad you enjoyed your week-end. (The weather was nice here too, 15C).

  2. Don't you just hate that? It is OK for the leaves to break down, but your garden equipment just isn't supposed to do that.

  3. I've been lusting for one of those leaf vacuum/mulchers. After reading this, and about other similar experiences, I think I'll stick with my lawn mower/bagger!

  4. I hate it when things break. But nice leaves!

  5. I saw an attachment for a shop vac at lowes the other day, that's supposed to shred leaves pretty good. However, with a pricetag of $99, it's not for me!

  6. Those look really beautiful and should break down much more rapidly as a result of the shredding. It's a shame you had so many problems with the purchased equipment. Hopefully they will promptly take care of the two problems and you end up with a product that will work well for you in years to come.

  7. I was thinking this fall as I mowed up my leaves that I would like vac/shredder, but I know my experience would be very similar to your own. So I will continue to rake and mow. I might start using my blower though!

  8. Hi! Thanks very much for the award. I don't usually participate with the awards but I very much appreciate it and your readership. I have stopped by here a few times before, I'll have to add you to my blog roll so I can keep more up to date.

  9. looks like you had a very productive vacation week! we spend the entire afternoon raking just to have our boys fly into the piles and case each other around with armfuls of leaves. it's kind of our own lesson in futility ;)

  10. Miss m: I am still waiting for the leaf blower/mulcher parts to arrive.

    Daphne: Yes, I was quite disappointed.

    Annie’s Granny: I should have just purchased a bagger for my mower instead.

    Stefaneener: I hate it when things break down too.

    EG: I really wanted a unit for the multifunction capabilities of adjustable blowing, mulching and shredding. Raking is too hard on my back and shoulders. To me the price tag was worth it.

    kitsapFG: I am still waiting for the replacement parts to arrive. In the mean time, the leaves I WAS able to shred and add to the compost bin have already started to reduce in level.

    Sylvana: I don’t have a bagger on my mower. If I did, the whole process would probably be much easier. The blower does a great job of gathering the leaves into a pile.

    Dan: You are very welcome for the award. I completely understand your decision not to participate and it is fine by me. I just wanted you to know that I really enjoy your blog.

    Allison: I love that your boys fly into your leave piles! Remember how that felt as a child? I am sure it was an amusing attempt nonetheless.