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Leaves, compost, leaves...

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  llama momma on 11/1/2012, 3:52 pm

Technology sure keeps improving our gadgets! Hopefully next year or Ebay will work out well for you.
It's windy, think I have to make a quick corral lined with chicken wire to dry out the leaves from all the rain. Saw the sun today for the first time in many days. Leaf bags are heavy from water seeping in. The directions say not to use this machine on wet leaves or even run the extension cord over wet grass. Don't know if the directions are being over cautious, but electrocution is not something to risk. For the time being I will start drying the leaves.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Triciasgarden on 11/1/2012, 5:29 pm

@plantoid wrote:
Because Einstein said time is relative , can I think it is Christmas Day and use the machine to clear up masses of leaves out the garden before they go rotten on the paths etc.??? I ask this for I have lots of space in two compost bins where the leaves can go Wink .

Plantoid for sure you should use it now! You want to make sure it works, don't you! Plus it sounds like those two bins are quite lonesome! Then you can clean it up and repackage it for Christmas.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  plantoid on 11/1/2012, 5:52 pm

That would be cheating Tricia , I'll just give it an extended test run over the next few weeks then hang it up in the garage after cleaning it , for I might need it as a snow blower in a few days time when " Sandy" starts to turn west from your side of the pond .

I'll keep the box all nice and clean & new like so I can fill it full of bubble wrap , newspaper , cross cut shredded paper and a pair of special gold earings for Alison's christmas present Laughing .

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  walshevak on 11/1/2012, 6:16 pm

Sounds like the time I packed up a box of rocks for my sister for Christmas. Cause ever girl needs some rocks ie, the pair of diamond earrings hiding among the river rocks.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  bnoles on 11/2/2012, 6:53 pm

I am soooooo excited! Jumped in my little Ford Ranger to run a quick errand, and low and behold just around the corner I spotted 32 black bags sitting out at the street that a neighbor had filled full of leaves. I thought I had died and went to heaven. I immediately looked up their phone number and called them from my cell to ask if they would mind me hauling them off for them. I was told to help myself. These were the extra large commercial contractor bags and it took 3 trips to get them all home. I emptied them all near my composting area and immediately returned the empty bags and asked the neighbor to let me know if they decided to rake more and I would come get them. I got so carried away that I forgot to run my errand. Looks like I will have an abundance of black gold come next Spring. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  plantoid on 11/2/2012, 7:24 pm

I've mulched the equivalent of 12 two wheel barrows worth of damp oak leaves and 3/4 filled a Dalek with them ....too late for an avatar picture as it was nigh on dark when I finshished doing it .

Still more to do tomorrow but at least the netting over the pond & around the edges is leaf & twig free .

The elves delivering it seem to have got lost on Nov 1 st and didn't find me till 16 .30 today .

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  TN_GARDENER on 11/2/2012, 7:32 pm

@llama momma wrote:Kelejan -
The leaf blower, vacc, and mulcher brand name is Toro Ultra
Purchased from Home Depot
Model 51609
Sale Price $69.97
What I love about this thing is it only weighs 7 pounds, also includes the zippered bag and shoulder strap.

I gave up on the vac bags. I still use my blower, but it's mainly to blow the leaves into piles so i can run them over with my mulching/bagging mower. Mine kept getting clogged and the bag's capacity was next to nothing (i'd fill it up in 30 seconds and then spend the next 5 minutes emptying and reattaching it).

Another trick is to lay out a tarp and blow/rake the leaves on to the tarp and then drag the tarp to your pile. They won't be shredded, but they'll still work every bit as good as bagged leaves.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Triciasgarden on 11/2/2012, 8:30 pm

@bnoles wrote:I am soooooo excited! Jumped in my little Ford Ranger to run a quick errand, and low and behold just around the corner I spotted 32 black bags sitting out at the street that a neighbor had filled full of leaves. I thought I had died and went to heaven. I immediately looked up their phone number and called them from my cell to ask if they would mind me hauling them off for them. I was told to help myself. These were the extra large commercial contractor bags and it took 3 trips to get them all home. I emptied them all near my composting area and immediately returned the empty bags and asked the neighbor to let me know if they decided to rake more and I would come get them. I got so carried away that I forgot to run my errand. Looks like I will have an abundance of black gold come next Spring. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

lol! I think I would have forgotten my errand also! Yay on the "gold"!

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Triciasgarden on 11/2/2012, 8:31 pm

@plantoid wrote:That would be cheating Tricia , I'll just give it an extended test run over the next few weeks then hang it up in the garage after cleaning it , for I might need it as a snow blower in a few days time when " Sandy" starts to turn west from your side of the pond .

I'll keep the box all nice and clean & new like so I can fill it full of bubble wrap , newspaper , cross cut shredded paper and a pair of special gold earings for Alison's christmas present Laughing .

Good choices!

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  floyd1440 on 11/3/2012, 6:40 am

Thanks Campr for the link!

I have been composting for less than a year so am still in the learning curve but have come to realise it is difficult to find a lot of "brown" material in the spring so I have gathered a LOT of leaves this year. My older brother stopped by last week and noticed the pile of leaves and made an interesting comment.
He said he remebered that grandfather used to collect leaves in the fall and put them in a huge block bin, 3 sided, and then take them out and spread them on his garden in the spring tilling them under. Then I asked my brother if there were any grass clipping in the pile and he said no as he used to jump in the pile.

So hence the question: can you just use leaves?

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  llama momma on 11/3/2012, 7:55 am

More variety of ingredients will produce a better nutritious compost.
How about newspaper? Or cardboard - remove any staples with pliers, float big pieces in a wheelbarrow with some water for about 10 minutes, the icky packing tape will practically float off. Dispose of it as it will not decompose easily. Wet cardboard easily tears into smaller pieces, about hand size. And worms love it! They go in the little channels of the corrogated cardboard and congregate underneath so cardboard is another nice source of browns. Farms will have hay or straw, there should be leftovers, expecially old, moldy stuff, great for composting.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  CapeCoddess on 11/4/2012, 8:34 am

On the Toro leaf vac, I had to soap or wax up the zipper as it can become stuck. Mine is plastic. Also, taking the bag off is a problem for me. I've tried talcum powder as well as WD-40 but still end up sitting on the ground pushing it off with my feet while pulling on the rest of it, which doesn't make the arthritic hip happy.

Also, for me, that the sucker hole didn't take up enuff of my leaves, which are mostly large leathery oak, to warrant the time spent doing it, and it made my back hurt for whatever reason. So now I mow them. I'm not crazy out dragging the cord & extension cord around either. I only use it for hard to rake spots now, and vac'ing out the car and garage, as well as for blowing, which works fantastically!

They make vac/blower/shredders that runs on battery now, like my Neuton mower. That would be great & is on my wish list! What a Face

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  camprn on 11/4/2012, 9:04 am

You all need more power!


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Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  plantoid on 11/4/2012, 10:56 am

Well the leaf collector mulcher/blower works a treat despite it only having a high grade nylon mulching whip instead of a steel cutter .

The blurb that came with the machine gives it a reduction of 10 down to one volume .. That's about right as well . I now have one & a half bins of pure oak leaf mulch .. still got a few more collectiing sessions as we had a very cold night with several hours of very wet sleet yesterday . This cold wet weather should see most of the leaves fall off by the end of this week .cheers

My avatar for this month shows one of my compost bins almost full of wet mulched oak leaves and hair from brushing out the dog ( High grade food & hammocks for the worms to set up house in )

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Goosegirl on 11/5/2012, 7:25 am

@camprn wrote:You all need more power!


rofl rofl rofl
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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  donnainzone5 on 11/5/2012, 10:11 am

Now, if only there were such an easy way to chop old veggies, etc. for the compost pile!

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  plantoid on 11/5/2012, 7:32 pm

Just how small do you want them ??
Thick stalks like flowers ,cabbages , tomatoes and brussels sprout stalks are best bashed with a hammer or some such heavy implement to split the stalk to allow bugs and bacteria to get easy access . You might also chop them with a spade into four or five inch lengths if you feel energetic .
They will still rot down well over a few months especially if you ensure that the heap is kept damp & covered to retain the heat.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  donnainzone5 on 11/6/2012, 10:48 am

Thanks for the ideas, Plantoid!

Perhaps I'll invest in a spade, although my bad back might object.

I actually prefer smaller pieces/chunks, although I may give your method a try.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  quiltbea on 11/6/2012, 1:53 pm

If you can find a piece of tree trunk alongside the road when they are being cut down, use that for your chopping block beside your compost bed. Machetes can be bought at hardware stores. Sit in front of the block and chop away. Be sure to keep out of reach of any children, young or old.
I didn't buy a machete but have one of those sharp knives you can buy on TV that cut anything and I use that to chop up stalks and roots. I never use it for food in the kitchen.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Turan on 11/7/2012, 1:35 pm

Yesterday I walked the town neighborhoods doing get out the vote stuff. I filled the car with bags of leaves Laughing I knew you here would appreciate that as much as I do. Now to stack them out of the way. These are aspen leaves and will be great for heavy mulching potatoes growing down the center of the broccoli bed.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 11/7/2012, 3:06 pm

Yesterday I drove the car and went where I had seen heaps of leaves in the city streets. A nice quiet road with little traffic. Within a very short while I had collected six bags of leaves. Took them home and because they were almost dry, reduced them with my leaf mulcher in no time at all.
The day before my friend had saved six bags for me but the difference was they were large leaves and they were wet. Took me ages to push them though the mulcher a little at a time and they did not mulch down very well.
The difference between the two kinds of leaves was amazing. I think I will lay off large, wet leaves in future.

So far I have totalled about 70 bags of leaves and the majority of them are in my 4x4x4 pile. I am also amazed (but not surprised) at how they shrink down, I keep adding and adding and adding.
When I turn it in the spring, I am going to make two 3x3x3s as I think it will be easier to handle.

Snow forecast for tomorrow here, so I think I will be happy to take a rest. Every time we take a break from the rain, I have been out collecting and processing leaves as long as the light lasts. I have run out of greens etc to mix in so now the pile is all leaves except for the large worm tubes which I am still filling with worm food until it freezes over.

It is going to be such a long winter before I can have a look to see what has happened to my pile and the worms in it.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  llama momma on 11/8/2012, 9:00 am

Kelejan -
I am virtually enjoying your wonderful composting activities and everyone else's!! I want badly to be outside but stuck inside sick for 5 days and counting... Still have one more load of leaves to pick up from a friend...final leaf bag count should be over 160 bags. My new toys, a leaf mulcher, a "gorilla cart" brand of wagon, and six pallets, are sitting idle as I stare outside at sunshine and afternoon temps of 50 - 60 degrees, arghh! Hope to share some pictures in the near future of my compost "playground" in action.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 11/8/2012, 4:13 pm

@llama momma wrote:Kelejan -
I am virtually enjoying your wonderful composting activities and everyone else's!! I want badly to be outside but stuck inside sick for 5 days and counting... Still have one more load of leaves to pick up from a friend...final leaf bag count should be over 160 bags. My new toys, a leaf mulcher, a "gorilla cart" brand of wagon, and six pallets, are sitting idle as I stare outside at sunshine and afternoon temps of 50 - 60 degrees, arghh! Hope to share some pictures in the near future of my compost "playground" in action.
So sorry to hear you are stuck indoors, LM. If I could transport myself like Scottie does Captain Kirk, I would come and help you, just to use your new toys etc. lol. I'd bring cake and you could supply the coffee. I hope you feel better in time to get it done before winter sets in. Thanks for your kind words about my composting activities; I really get encouragement from this board.
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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  RoOsTeR on 11/8/2012, 4:54 pm

That's a load of leaves! Sounds like some great new toys and hope you get to feeling better.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  llama momma on 11/8/2012, 5:29 pm

Thanks a Bunch, Kelejan and Rooster.
I just want to go outside and play again. Yes indeed, I'm whining.
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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

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