*updated 9/12/2017* Mother Nature. A definite cure for boredom! Every Autumn I get an influx of questions asking about the best tools & tips for leaf and debris pick up and disposal. here are my top tips and best picks.
1. A lawn mower mounted bagging system is not the answer. Bag systems can be expensive. Some costing in excess of $3,500. They are excellent at bagging grass, but do not perform great at picking up leaves and yard debris. According to the experts at the world Leader in mowers; Exmark “A bagging system works best collecting what it is cutting; The debris above the blade tip”
2. Mowing up the leaves? sorry! I like to compare mowing leaves with vacuuming a hardwood floor. Try it sometime. The vacuum blows most of the dirt and dust away from the vacuum cleaner. It is the same with mowers unfortunately.
*TIP* A secret of the professionals is to use the discharge air of a zero turn lawn mower to blow the leaves into one long row then slowly BACK UP over that row. By backing over it, the direction of the cutting blades throw the leaves back inside the deck to get chopped up more. This helps lighten the load, so to speak. It’s not perfect though. There is still quite a mess of ‘minced’ leaves to clean up later.
3, Lawn sweepers & vacuums. There are several companies that produce power vacuums. Most are pull behind types powered by their own engines. Very good results but the prices range from $1,700 to a whopping $8,500.
4. A pull behind Lawn sweeper is a good low cost alternative to a vacuum. With a price tag starting under $200, a sweeper does a good job of picking up everything in the yard. Leaves, twigs, nuts… whatever!
no matter what method of leaf pick up you choose, there is still the matter of what to do with the debris. To burn, bag or compost. That is all up to you and your energy level. I have a few enterprising friends that make extra income by bagging and selling composted leaves. As they say..one mans trash truly is another mans treasure.
I hope revisiting this article got us all thinking about a better method this leaf season.
Remember; If you ever have questions, you can email me at email@example.com.