Make leaf clearance a breeze
The golden days of autumn; the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That blaze of startling colour as trees change their clothes in a final salute to the summer.
Autumn leaves may be beautiful; but when they start to fall and pile up on the ground they can be a real chore for gardeners. Clearing leaves off the lawn prevents suffocation, letting it rest and breathe for a healthy spring; and whilst leaving them on beds and borders can eventually create useful mulch, they make an unsightly and slippery mess on driveways, pavements, patios and paths.
So what is the best way to clear fallen leaves in areas where you don't want them to pile up?
For a real work-out use a manual rake, or spend a satisfying couple of hours with a leaf blower or vac. Powered leaf blowers and vacuums relieve the strain of clearing drives, pathways and lawns, and the latest STIHL range makes seasonal leaf clearance an absolute breeze.
Each STIHL blower offers its own distinct benefits and with a choice of petrol, electric or battery power there is a model to suit most pockets and scales of garden or task. STIHL vacuum shredders are truly versatile tools, and what sets them apart is that they shred the leaves finely as they gather them up.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to clear leaves off the lawn is to simply run over them with a lawn mower. The lawn mower must have good suction power and be a collecting model (with a box or bag). VIKING lawn mowers and lawn tractors are ideal for the task; their impressive suction performance, ordinarily used to lift grass blades upright for a quick and clean cut, makes them efficient leaf collectors in the autumn.
- For maximum capacity in the grass catcher box, raise the height of the lawn mower blade so that it's not cutting grass, just collecting the leaves. Wait for a dry day when the leaves aren't soaked, and don't walk on the lawn if not absolutely necessary in damp, wet or frosty conditions.
- Blow leaves into a pile before collecting them up with a leaf vacuum or by hand with a pair of rectangular wooden planks for example.
- Ask your STIHL Approved Dealer about the choice of leaf blower nozzles available. A round-ended nozzle is ideal for blasting large areas of leaves. The smaller diameter of a flat-ended nozzle ensures a high air speed and is ideal for removing stuck-on debris like damp leaves. A flat nozzle with a curved end allows you to target dirt and debris more accurately.
- Extend the reach of your STIHL leaf blower and clear leaves out of low gutters with the accessory 3 metre long blower tube.
- Use collected deciduous leaves to make valuable leaf mould; shred them first if possible to speed decomposition. Put leaves into a black plastic sack and punch a few holes in the side and bottom. When the sack is almost full, sprinkle with a little water, shake the bag and tie it up. Leave it for a year or two (preferably in a shady spot), and that garden waste will become valuable mulch.