After autumn, for sure, there are piles and piles of leaves on the roadside. For a lot of city folks, or even suburban people, these leaves are just waiting to be played in by the local kids or picked up by the garbage collector. You, on the other hand, know better. Why? That is because of the fact that you are reading this article as it means that you are looking for a leaf shredder.
Whether you know what this particular gardening tool does or not, you know that those piles of leaves have a lot of potentials. You can transform them into something useful, and in the process, you also help with the disposition of these fallen leaves. As such, we will discuss essential things about this unique tool. We will also give you some tips on what to look out for to get the best leaf shredder. Lastly, we will talk about some of the final end products of the shredded leaves.
Leaf Shredder: What is it?
This very powerful tool can shred and mulch leaves. Well, that is a surprise, is it not? But sarcasm aside, what happens after is what is most interesting. This is one of the best gardening tools because it can make and shred up the by-products of leaves into a very useful fertilizer, so it is actually very vital to recycling.
So, what happens? You chuck in the dried leaves into the shredder. It spins at high-speed levels, then it will grind and mulch those, and out comes the fine leaf granules. This same job can also be done by a leaf mulcher with a lawnmower; however, the result is not as fine as the shredder. The shredded leaves are the ones that you can easily make into useful items.
Types Based on Power Source
This useful yard tool is divided into three types based on its source of power. The first one is the electric shredder where you have a cord, and you plug it in. These are the most common and work very well. The second one is a gas shredder. This one can process a lot of leaves at a given time, but it is not the most environmentally friendly. Finally, the last one is a battery powered leaf shredder. For this type, a lot of companies are starting to develop battery shredders that are as strong as the gas powered ones.
Tips and Tricks to Find the Best Leaf Shredder
If it is your first time to consider buying a leaf shredder, you might be in for a surprise because they have a lot of designs and features. So, here is a simple guide to what you should look out for:
- Main use: You should determine what you are going to use it for. Is it just for disposal? Or would you like to make compost? For compost, you should use a heavy-duty one because you will use it a lot.
- Capacity and power: Of course, if you have a large backyard, it is necessary that you get a leaf shredder that has a large capacity to save you time and effort.
- Convenience: Would you like the one with wheels? Or something that you can just easily carry to and from the storage area? This will solely depend on personal preference, but it is suggested that you get something that you can move around quickly and easily. Apart from added features like wheels, this is also where the weight of the product comes into play.
- Opening: If you plan on shredding twigs along with the leaves, you should get one that has a bigger diameter opening at the top.
- Safety features: Of course, you would not want to shred your fingers also, right? Choose something that has a safety lock feature or even a top cover.
- Material to be shredded: It is inevitable that there will come a time that you have to shred wet material. Therefore, your shredder should also be capable of processing those.
- Noise Level: This depends on the area where you live.If you live in a neighborhood where you are so close to your neighbors, you should get something that works quietly, so as not to disturb other people.
- Your knowledge: You should also gauge yourself if you are capable of properly using the shredder of your choice. There will be times when things get stuck, and you should be the one to know whether to stick your hand in there.
- Safety Glasses and Protective Gear: You should always wear safety glasses when using any kind of power tool. A leaf shredder and leaf blowers create a lot of flying debris that can cause injury so you need to protect your eyes at all times.
Shredded Leaves: What to Do with Them?
Here are some very good uses of the shredded leaves:
- Fertilizer: You can just scatter them on top of grass and soil, or put them in your plant pots.
- Mulch: This is a mixture of bark, leaves, or compost that you can attach to plants to enrich them or just put in with the soil to insulate it.
- Compost: This is your fertilizer in steroids, which is commonly a blend of leaves, manure, wood, etc. Just like a wood shredder, a shredder for leaves can also process small parts of the wood to mix in your compost.
- Nutrient source for plants: Let us briefly talk about the use of these leaves as nutrients that can be used for perennial gardens. These are for the leaves that you shred early on, meaning they are newly-fallen leaves. These are perfect to use for perennials beds because they still have a lot of nutrients within them and the plants can easily absorb those.
- Winter mulch: There is also a thing called winter mulch which is compatible with shrubs, roses, and perennials. When you realize that the mulch that you produced is of the fluffy kind, you can use this to wrap the stems of your plants to insulate them to brave the low temperatures of winter. Or you can just scatter them near the roots of your plant.
Now you know that those leaves have a lot of uses especially when you have the right tool with you. Just do not forget the tips that we gave you in order for you to get the best leaf shredder that fits your needs and uses.
So, what are you waiting for? Give your plants or even just your soil a boost, and start shredding!
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