11-17-2013, 01:18 PM
#1
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Living in NH I appreciate the beauty of the fall colors. I can look out my window and enjoy scenery that many folks drive hundreds of miles to see.

After enjoying the colors the "leafpeepers" drive hundreds of miles back home. Those of us who stay behind have to deal with the downed leaves.

We live in a valley and are surrounded by forest. The prevailing winds blow through the valley and deposit lots of leaves.

My wife and I work as a team to remove leaves. She uses the back pack blower to put the leaves in big piles or rows.
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This is a pic of the back yard and the leaf vac.
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We have this great leaf vacuum. It is designed to be hooked up to a mower deck. But that never worked well for us. I park it near the piles my wife created and rake the leaves into the vac hose. In the background of this pic you can see the volume of leaves we get.
[Image: DjNWeNb.jpg]

Once the leaf vac hopper is full we dump them off of the edge of the drive way. There is a steep bank there. This prevents the leaves from blowing back out in windy weather.
[Image: 9sLuYNc.jpg]

And this is the finished backyard.
[Image: OiLi2cu.jpg]

We spent 18 hours total ( 5 on Sat and 4 on Sunday X 2 people) to get rid of the leaves. Before the leaf vac we used rakes, tarps and a wheelbarrow. That would take 3 of us a total of
120 hrs spread out over 2 or 3 weekends. Sometimes the snow fell before all of the leaves were up. I much prefer the vac method.
Though we both needed advil at the end of each day.

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 11-17-2013, 03:43 PM
#2
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Phil, thank you so much for sharing this. It makes a big city boy like me appreciate Mother Nature's Autumn beauty all the more.

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 11-17-2013, 04:35 PM
#3
  • Deuce
  • Just a guy
  • Cave Creek
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Good lord, that's a ton of leaves. My back feels for you!

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 11-17-2013, 05:38 PM
#4
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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And I thought I had it bad here.

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 11-17-2013, 06:40 PM
#5
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Wow, Phil, that is a great deal of work and leaves! What a way to get some exercise! Smile

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 11-18-2013, 07:28 AM
#6
  • ojinsa
  • Senior Member
  • San Antonio
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I think I recognize those hills from my time out there. I remember scoping out streams to wet a line around those parts. Well done an looks like you've earned some rest after that!

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 11-18-2013, 07:32 AM
#7
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Man, that's a lot of work!

Luckily, I like leaf litter and I hate lawns, so I just let the leaves gather and decompose.

However, I don't have nearly the same amount of leaves to deal with as you do.

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 11-18-2013, 09:12 AM
#8
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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SWMBO and I spent the weekend raking and vacuuming up leaves, but after last night's windstorm it doesn't look as though we did very much Angry I love the autumn except for leaf raking, which really does my back in; last night I took 2 extra-strength Tylenol in order to get comfortable. I work out with a personal trainer twice a week, and have done so for years, but leaf raking is a dynamic unto itself.

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 11-18-2013, 09:15 AM
#9
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A lot of work, but it's one of those jobs that has a true "finish" and gives solid satisfaction. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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 11-18-2013, 06:06 PM
#10
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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(11-18-2013, 09:15 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: A lot of work, but it's one of those jobs that has a true "finish" and gives solid satisfaction. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

But, at times, when the wind is blowing vigourously, there seems no end to it.

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 11-19-2013, 10:16 AM
#11
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Hi Phil

What a great set-up you have there, plus your wife and you seem to have the whole leaf clearing operation nailed down with military precision.

Do the leaves get chopped up into small pieces on their way into the leaf vac hopper?

Do you make any compost and/or leaf mold from some of the leaves you pick up?

I bet the soil where you dump those cleaned up leaves is amazing, dark, rich, fertile soil.

Take care, Mike

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 11-19-2013, 11:03 AM
#12
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I wish I had your problem, not the leaves but the scenery, but I guess you can't have one without the other.

Great pictures, beautiful scenery, and nice house.

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 11-20-2013, 04:52 AM
#13
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(11-19-2013, 10:16 AM)mikeperry Wrote: Hi Phil

What a great set-up you have there, plus your wife and you seem to have the whole leaf clearing operation nailed down with military precision.

Do the leaves get chopped up into small pieces on their way into the leaf vac hopper?

Do you make any compost and/or leaf mold from some of the leaves you pick up?

I bet the soil where you dump those cleaned up leaves is amazing, dark, rich, fertile soil.

Take care, Mike

Mike,
The leaf vac does have a chipper/shredder blade. Chops them up but not very fine.

When I lived in MD I composted extensively. Managed a 3 bin system. Piles got nice and hot so I could throw anything in there. We had two rabbits at the time and their pellets were high in nitrogen and the pile heated nicely. Never had to worry about weed, fruit or vegetable seeds germinating. Even diseased plants went into the compost without worrying about spreading it.

I compost here in NH but mostly for household waste removal. All of our non-animal garbage winds up in the compost bins. Plus cardboard egg crates and pizza boxes. And of course garden litter. But I do not have enough "greens" to obtain the correct ratio to get a hot pile. So I do not use the compost in my gardens. Would have serious trouble with disease and weeds since I make"cold" compost.

The dumping spot for the leaves has great soil and leaf mold. I dig it back out when I need it.

Phil

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 11-20-2013, 08:19 AM
#14
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(11-20-2013, 04:52 AM)PhilNH5 Wrote: The leaf vac does have a chipper/shredder blade. Chops them up but not very fine.

When I lived in MD I composted extensively. Managed a 3 bin system. Piles got nice and hot so I could throw anything in there. We had two rabbits at the time and their pellets were high in nitrogen and the pile heated nicely. Never had to worry about weed, fruit or vegetable seeds germinating. Even diseased plants went into the compost without worrying about spreading it.

I compost here in NH but mostly for household waste removal. All of our non-animal garbage winds up in the compost bins. Plus cardboard egg crates and pizza boxes. And of course garden litter. But I do not have enough "greens" to obtain the correct ratio to get a hot pile. So I do not use the compost in my gardens. Would have serious trouble with disease and weeds since I make"cold" compost.

The dumping spot for the leaves has great soil and leaf mold. I dig it back out when I need it.

Hi Phil

Thank you, some (very) good information there Cheers

Take care, Mike

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