Part of garden maintenance is to pick up the fallen and dead leaves across the space. If you allow it to decompose, it can ruin the fertility of the soil. Also, it supports the growth of bacteria and it will leave brown marks all over your yard.
You can pile the leaves and other dead debris using a rake or blower. But we need to dispose of the leftover mess, right?
Good news! Fallen leaves, hedge trimmings, and dead plants can be turned into a mulch in seconds!
Thanks to electrical leaf mulchers!
This article will give you the basic knowledge of operating an electric leaf mulcher.
Steps on how to use a Leaf Mulcher
If it’s your first time using a Leaf Mulcher, or you’re unfamiliar with the process of using it… here are the simple steps you can follow:
1. Find an electrical outlet
Because it’s an electric Leaf Mulcher, it’s important that we are near an outlet. This is to power up the machine.
If you will be mulching away from home, prepare a long and durable extension cord. You can also use a portable generator to bring electricity to your leaf mulcher.
2. Choose the right mode
It depends on the brand or the make of your leaf mulcher. There are several modes to choose from. The modes determine the fineness of the mulch.
Other units come with extra modes for grinding up grass and leaves. You can select the mode you want and hit the power button. Make sure to have a plastic bag under the exit chute to catch the shredded leaves.
3. Insert the leaves into the mulcher
After turning on the machine, put as many dead leaves as possible into the hopper. Most models feature a hopper-and-blade combination. They can shred more than 20 gallons of leaves per minute.
Turn the machine off when your trash bag is full. Replace the bag and repeat operations until there are no more dead leaves to shred.
4. Wear personal protective equipment, if possible
Using a leaf mulcher is quite messy. Because their cutting lines rotate quickly to effectively pulverize leaves to a pulp. It results in producing a lot of airborne dust. This can damage the machine’s motor and create health risks to the user.
So, wear protective gloves when using an electric Leaf Mulcher. Because they have spinning blades. It would be worse if your hand gets nicked while working. Better safe than sorry.
5. Post work clean-up
Keep you electric Leaf Mulches as clean as possible if you want it to last many years. The electric type runs off of electricity. So, there are no maintenance issues involved like refueling or oil changes.
But make sure that the outside and inner components are wiped clean. Or blasted with compressed air to get rid of minuscule leaf and grass particles. Store the machine somewhere after cleaning it.
Benefits of Leaf Mulch
As a gardener, we spend quality time amending our soil and getting ready for the growing season. Some of us make our own compost. And buy manures or even buy soil additives.
But there is a cheaper way! It is to use what nature gives for free. Using a leaf mulcher to mulch the leaves enriches the soil. And preserves the cycle of life by renewing plants.
How good is leaf mulch for plants? Here are the benefits:
- Using leaf mulch buffers soil temperatures. To keep soil warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Thereby protecting plants.
- It improves soil fertility as it decomposes. So, it reduces the need for fertilizing.
- Leaf mulch retains soil moisture. It lessens irrigation needs.
- Also, it suppresses weeds. It reduces the amount of weeding for the gardener.
- Leaf mulches reduce soil erosion in certain instances.
Tips on mulching with leaves
You can use the shredded leaves using your electric leaf mulcher! Before mulching them, it is best to let them dry first. Because it is easy and quick to break down dried leaves.
Using a leaf mulcher is the easiest way to recycle the debris in your yard.
To use the dried leaves as mulch, spread them around trees and shrubs and over perennial beds.
Your guide in purchasing a leaf mulcher
There are primary considerations you will have to think about. One of which is where you are going to use the leaf mulcher. Also, how often you will use it.
These will help tailor the specifications of your final choice:
1. The amount of leaves
If your garden is small, get a smaller mulcher. Most people are better off with a blower. But if you have a larger garden and more leaves, you’ll need a stronger machine to get the job done.
2. Do you want to remove the litter too?
If your answer is yes, a simple straight garden vac without shredder might be the best. Take note that they are not as great when picking up and storing wet leaves. But they are a versatile time-saver.
3. Power Source
Consider: electric, battery-powered, or gas?
Gas is an energy source suitable for people in the gardening cleaning business all day.
4. The size of your yard
It is the major factor to consider when choosing a mulcher. Vacuums are suited for small yards. And big garden owners prefer mulch mowers. But standalone mulchers work well for lawns of all sizes.
5. Type of bush to clear
If you are living in a wet climate, we recommend that you find a model made for shredding wet material. Know the type of bush you are going to destroy. Mulchers can handle leaves and small twigs.
6. Ease and comfort while using
What are your needs in the garden? We prefer that you use lightweight and easy to assemble. It will save you energy in the long run.
It is not good to focus on brand names only when purchasing a leaf mulcher. But there are established and reputable brands that are worth keeping an eye out for.
This is just a general guideline on how to use an electric leaf mulcher. There may be more steps on the brand you are using. It depends on the design and construction. If you haven’t purchased one yet, we also added a guideline. This is to help you decide on choosing the best leaf mulcher.