Leaf Collector Options

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  #1  
Old 11-06-08, 06:51 AM
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Leaf Collector Options

My property is too small for a tractor but I have a lot of trees and a lot of leaves. I have seen my neighbors with riding mowers collect their leaves with ease but my property is too small, I dont have a place to store a riding mower and I simply cannot afford one no matter how much I want one.

So, I have been using my push mower to collect the leaves but it seams that due to so many leaves I find myself having to stop and empty the bag every few minutes. I have one of those leaf blowers that I bought in Home Depot that seems to take longer and make a bigger mess maybe because it is not strong enough.

Besides moving, what options do I have to make my leaf collecting much easier? I have seen landscapers with the backpack leaf blowers clean yards pretty quick. I dont mind blowing everything to one section and manually bag from there. A backpage leaf blower costs anywhere from $200 - $350 at Lowes or Home Depots which is a lot cheaper than riding mower.

Please help...Thank you!
 
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  #2  
Old 11-06-08, 07:02 AM
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I have the same issue Lots of leaves but to small a yard for a tractor. So I purchase and Lawn vac. It is basiclly the small process and you do with your lawn mower, but has a much bigger bag. I have a Troy bilt which is the same as the Sears, Cub Cadet. It has a small chipper for twiggs and an 8' hose for cleaning in corners of flowers beds. They cost around $500 new I think I got mine used for $150. You can also check Billy goat brands. They are awsome. They cost more, but are worth it. My brother-in-law got an old used on for $60 and it much beter the my newer Troy Bilt. Also check your local rental shops to see if they have one to rent this year, Then spend the next year looking for one that fits your buget if you can not afford one this year.
 
  #3  
Old 11-06-08, 09:15 AM
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I looked at those vacuum machines too and they do have bigger collector bags but my town makes us bag our leaves into these tall skinny brown bags that is difficult to fit the lawn mower or vacuum machine bags into the brown bag without making a big mess. The only way is to tranfer it by pouring the leaves from the mower/vacuum bag to brown bag but you tend make a mess too.

They sell these brown bags at Home Depot too. Dont these people realize that lawn mowers and lawn vacuums are making wider machines. Why cant they make wide brown bags too???
 
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Old 11-06-08, 09:36 AM
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Not sure if they still have them or not. They used to have kits for several brands of handheld blower/vacs. They consisted of a 12-15'(?) hose that went where the bag would be when in vac configuration. It connected to a much larger collection bag that would collect the shredded leaves. You could blow the leaves into piles or rows, then just vac and shred them into the collection bag. Then dump into the city required container or bags.
Of course I didn't see it until I had made my own with large shop-vac hose, some drain pipe fittings, and burlap feed bags. (which worked like a champ btw, tyvm)
5 or 6 large beeches and maples in the yard, if I did it weekly, prob shredded down to maybe 2 1/2 lawn trash bags.

Now, here in AZ, we only have 2 pines, so I just blow the needles into piles and trash 'em.
 
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Old 11-06-08, 09:57 AM
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[IMG][/IMG]

this is not perfect but it helps--goes to bottom of bag......
use something to mash the leaves down inside---you can get a lot in one bag.............
 
  #6  
Old 11-06-08, 09:58 AM
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The kit is made by Toro and you connect it to your handheld blower/vacuum. Unfortunately, it does not connect properly with my handheld blower/vacuum.

Is the backpack blower the way to go in my situation? If so, what should I look for in buyone one?
 
  #7  
Old 11-06-08, 07:17 PM
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Why collect the leaves, get yourself a good leaf mulching blade for your mower, install it during the leaf season and turn them into natures best fertilizer. Have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 11-06-08, 07:29 PM
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Another way to go is a push sweeper. Sears has them for around $100: Craftsman Lawn Sweeper - Model 71-240361 at Sears.com

But I second the notion that a mulching blade on the mower would be a less labor intensive way to go.
 
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Old 11-06-08, 08:45 PM
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I bought a push sweeper too and it only picks up leaves on top and not pressed into the grass.

I have A LOT of leaves. Will the mulching blade cause a messy look on the lawn? Can I use this mulching blade and have the leaves chopped up into smaller pieces and rear bagged so I dont have to empty as often with a normal blade?
 
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Old 11-07-08, 04:54 AM
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I block the outlet on my riding mower with sheet metal. An old auto license plate works fine. The leaves stay under the deck until ground fine. It is a little messy for a short while but shure beats bagging. I have never tired this with a pusher but it should work if the mower isn't overloaded.
 
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Old 11-07-08, 05:09 AM
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I also have a small lot with many leaves. I alternate raking and bagging with my lawn mower then dumping everything in the bed of my pick-up and dispose it at the local garden recycling center.
 
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Old 11-07-08, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeyBoy View Post
I bought a push sweeper too and it only picks up leaves on top and not pressed into the grass.

I have A LOT of leaves. Will the mulching blade cause a messy look on the lawn? Can I use this mulching blade and have the leaves chopped up into smaller pieces and rear bagged so I dont have to empty as often with a normal blade?
Try sweeping right after you mow, discharging the clippings onto the lawn when everything is laying on top of the turf. Also, the leaves will be GREATLY reduced in volume if you sweep after you cut.
 
  #13  
Old 11-07-08, 03:43 PM
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Ya I know what you mean about the bags. My town requires those bags for pickup. I have acces to a pickup so I dump the leaves in the bed and drive them to the dump myself.
I stated with the hand held vac that was electric I think it is a Toro. It came with the bag and I purchase the add-on hose to go to a garbage can. I Placed the Brown bag in the garbage can and straped the hose on top. It work pretty well as long as the leaves were not wet. It just took a long time with the amount of leaves. 50 bags and thats at the 10:1 mulch ratio the vac did. Good luck.
 
  #14  
Old 11-08-08, 09:12 AM
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I decided to try the mulching technique for my entire 10,000 sq ft lawn but it was very messy. I did mulch the entire lawn but I did a 2nd walk around but put the bag on this time. It made my lawn look very neat again and I only used 10 bags. I had to walk around twice but there were many benefits for doing it this way:

1) Not as many bags used.
2) Able to to put more leaves in one bag.
3) Less stops...less bending...less backache
4) Completed in faster time

If I did it the normal way, I would have probably have used almost 30 bags.
 
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Old 11-08-08, 02:56 PM
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You pretty much figured out the same thing I did.
My 1 1/2 acre yard is filled with mostly cottonwoods that all seem to drop on the same day.

I use a small gas blower to make several large piles and then load them into a 7' x 14' trailer with 2' high sides.
It takes about 4 full tarped loads to the dump to dispose of them.
This year I mounted my 5hp shredder in the back and reduced it to 1 1/2 loads.
 
  #16  
Old 11-18-08, 04:09 PM
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Exclamation Keep the mulched leaves for mulch

I have a large yard with huge amounts of leaves, so I use a mulching garden tractor with a Cyclone Vac attachment (highly recommended). But you already said you don't want/ don't have room for a riding mower, so this is not really an option for you. BUT, I'm sure that if you have a neighbor with a tractor/vac set-up, he would love to do your yard for a small fee. It will be done in minutes, and your neighbor will feel great that he gets more use out of his expensive set-up.

If you want to try a backpack blower, try renting one first from a local hardware store or possibly a big-box store. I rented one, and decided using it was taking an insane amount of time (just blowing the leaves into the woods). Glad I didn't waste my money on buying one.

Whatever you decide to do, though, be advised that the mulched leaves are great mulch to use on your landscaped areas. It looks just as good as any mulched pine or hardwood, and it's FREE. Don't throw it out, keep it. It will save you huge amounts of time bagging , etc. And you won't have to lug bags of purchased mulch from the store. And, did I mention that it's FREE??
 
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