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my new leaf vacuum

Posted by mayalena 6 - MetroWest Boston (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 29, 11 at 15:49

My latest purchase of probably dumb gardening paraphenalia is a Toro electric leaf vacuum. I've used it once and loved it! It shreds to a size I find acceptable and is so easy to use. Any body else out there using something similar?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: my new leaf vacuum

I am green with envy! Enjoy!

Here is a link that might be useful: What I want

RE: my new leaf vacuum

OMG! I'm drooling after looking at that link!

Mayalena, I have either a Toro or B&D electric hand-held blower/vac, probably the same or similar to what you have. (For the life of me I can't remember which one, and I was just using it two days ago, lol!)

Anyway, I don't dislike it, but I don't love it. I have a Flowtron, which produces a wonderful consistency of shreddedness (a real word, lol?) and so I've been spoiled by that. But with almost an acre of land and about 40 trees, it's really slow work with the Flowtron.

The hand-held vac realy isn't much faster, but it is a tad easier to walk around and just suck up the leaves instead of having to rake them and then pick them up and dump in the Flowtron. The trade-off is the size of the shredded leaves. The vac doesn't come near the small size of the Flowtron pieces. But, it's still better than not shredding at all.

The other downside, IMO, is the size of the bag. I have to empty it so often. Not really sure how they can rectify this, though, as you can't really carry around a much bigger bag, lol. As it is, I find the ergonomics of the vac awkward and uncomfortable, and it gets worse as the bag gets full. I am considering the attachment they sell to be able to shred into a garbage can or similar receptacle. That would allow me to shred more at a time and maybe take the weight of the bag of my shoulders.

Hmm, I just read through what I wrote and it doesn't sound like I like this thing, lol! But really, I am not sorry I bought it, and I wouldn't necessarily discourage someone from buying it. It just has it's limitations - as do many of these types of machines. We all want something like in the link above at a hand-held vac price, I guess!

Honestly, I was spoiled last year by my neighbor. He has some kind of lawn tractor and he cleaned out under a row of hemlock trees. He said he was going to use his tractor to shred the leaves from under them. When I asked what he was going to do with them, he asked if I wanted them, and said he would leave them for me by my compost bins. A few days later when I noticed the pile of leaves, I was ridiculously happy. They were the most finely shredded leaves I've ever seen in my life, lol! Probably not good for a heavy winter mulch, but perfect for a nice-looking summer mulch in the front (i.e. visible) perennial beds. Now, even my trusty Flowtron can't live up to that!


RE: my new leaf vacuum

WE should have that DR power shredder/vac next fall.. I am all ready happy dancing over it. I have an acre with 22 deciduous trees ... I have a lawn tractor that cuts em up "ok" but you do have to rake them off in the spring if you use it as mulch, this one I won;t and it can make the "shredness::" FINER. when you suck them in its shredded AND when you use the hose to blow them back out!

RE: my new leaf vacuum

I have to confess that one of my neighbors, who has a bunch of trees and about 2 acres that is kept mowed and is in his eighties, has a similar rig to ontheteam's link. He has 3 huge compost bins that are chock-a-block full of leaves, and I'm sure that after the 5 or so years he has had it, it has paid for itself since he didn't need to pay someone else to come clean up leaves as he is no longer physically able to do it by hand. He seems to have a great time with it, perched on the lawn tractor with his ipod and singing his heart out as he cruises around gathering up leaves.

We only have red maples in the areas we keep as lawn (and the field areas are on their own - no leaf removal) and dh has found that if he mows a couple of times once the leaves are all down on a dry day, he can chop them fine enough that they sift down into the grass and break down by spring and help increase organic matter in the lawn. I don't think that would work so well with heavier leaves. Unfortunately, it means that if I want leaves for the compost pile, I have to make a special request that he save a few.

RE: my new leaf vacuum

I've also read on another forum good reviews about the Cyclone Rake.

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