We have covered a lot of important gardening accessories here previously and one other item that may be one to consider is the garden mulcher or leaf shredder. The value or importance of these devices is very much underrated as they can make short work of all or most of our gardening waste. However we must not confuse these machines with wood chippers or shredders, while both doing the same line of work are still somewhat different. The woodchip chipper or shredder is for hardwood branches and timber mainly, while the standard shredders are for leaves, grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, garden plants and stems and other soft items like these.
The waste shredders that we will look at are those machines that will eliminate most or all of our garden waste at the end of the year in our backyards or backgardens. If we are living in urban or suburban areas, we will notice that we have a lot of rubbish lying around especially during the fall, like fallen leaves and twigs etc. We could spend hours brushing them up and putting them into waste sacks, for either disposal at landfill bring sites or for collection by the waste disposal contractors. Some people place this garden waste on compost heaps, which is fine, but not everyone have these facilities set up for themselves.
Garden waste shredders for beginners;
These machines come either as gas or petrol propelled or electrically driven. The gas option would be considerably more powerful and would be the preferred option from a health and safety aspect. However the electrical type would do the job just as good, but we may need some electrical extension cables to be able to work this shredder outside where we would need it. The electric leaf shredder as per image above would make quick work of our garden waste and are really easy to operate. The opening hopper is at the top for our leaves and garden rubbish and the shredded waste is then passed through the shredding blades or mechanish, which we can collect with bin liners. This garden waste shredder would render 5-6 bags of leaves into just one bag of shredded mulch, which then could be easily disposed of on our raised beds, gardens or perhaps our compost heaps.
Advantages of a garden shredder;
- Cost efficient,
- Recycle the material into organic compost,
- Avoid burning,
- Avoid having to bring to green sites
- Keep our neighbours happy,
- Reduce rubbish disposal fees,
- No need to pay for removal,
- Waste reduction ratio of 5/6 : 1,
- Reduces garden maintenance,
- Beautifies our Backyard,
The main benefit of using one of these shredders is, it will solve a lot of our garden waste disposal issues in an efficient and timely manner. These mulchers or shredders will dispose and transform our waste material as fast as can draw it to them. They are a super efficient solution to the ongoing watse issues that we as gardeners will experience on an annual basis. If we have a hedge say that needs trimming maybe twice yearly, this shredder will dispose of the trimmings pretty efficiently and cost effective also. Previously we disposed of this material in landfill, put out in wheelie bins for collection or perhaps even attempted to burn this waste. The burning of our garden waste will become more and more restricted as we go forward, due to ozone and carbon emission issues. With the shredder machine we can eleiminate all of those concerns and make our garden pretty and tidy once again.
Operating a shredder;
Obviously there are certain safety issues when using a shredding machine in our back gardens. We must remember that there is a series of shredding blades which are operating at high speeds and great care needs to be observed when operating one of these machines. On purchasing one of these units, there would have been an instruction booklet that came with this, which would have contained a series of warnings and safety precautions that we would have to heed. Keeping children away from these would be top of the list, wear gloves, goggles and also ear muffs. This machine may get clogged up from time to time, so it would need to be switched off, disconnected from the mains and freed up again.
Do I need a shredder;
Obviously that is a question, that only ourselves could possibly answer. There are numerous reasons for owning one of these machines, however the cost factor may come into the equation. These range in price from $100 upwards, but at that cost, they will easily repay our investment in the space of a year or two. If we are gardeners and we would like to have an organic garden , we will probably applaud the fact that leaf mulch will not remain leaf mulch forever. Garden leaf mulch is just compost waiting to happen, so we automatically know, its safe to use and also we accquired this for free.
I have seen people use a lawnmower to do this job from time to time and indeed I have done this myself, but that was years ago, before shredders were invented. How much demand would we have for a garden waste shredder….the problem is, if we used it once, we would find it very hard to be without one. I trust that this information is useful and informative in your decision as to why we should have a garden shredder. As ever we are social here and would love to hear from you through the comments section down below.