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View Full Version : Efficient way of removing leaves from beds?? Help please


Florida Gardener
01-16-2012, 08:11 PM
One of my properties has beds with leaves but stuff like liriope, ferns, impatiens, and overall tight areas. Does anyone have a VERY efficient way of removing leaves in these situations? I'm really trying to get very efficient at this property. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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billslawn89
01-16-2012, 08:25 PM
does the beds have mulch or rock? I would say some kind of vacuum

Dunlaps LawnCare
01-16-2012, 08:26 PM
does the beds have mulch or rock? I would say some kind of vacuum

wouldnt the vacuum pick up the rocks and mulch two tho?

Florida Gardener
01-16-2012, 08:29 PM
Hey guys no mulch or rock.
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Gilmore.Landscaping
01-16-2012, 08:34 PM
Got a blower/vac system for cheap through a friend and they have the worst power I have ever seen. Could barely blow a leaf 3'.

But they are perfect for leaf pick up, as long as they are dry!! Just move it quick back and forth over the area and the heavier packed down mulch stays put and the leaves get sucket up.
http://www.yardmachines.ca/ProductImages/3203.jpg

Florida Gardener
01-16-2012, 08:59 PM
Got a blower/vac system for cheap through a friend and they have the worst power I have ever seen. Could barely blow a leaf 3'.

But they are perfect for leaf pick up, as long as they are dry!! Just move it quick back and forth over the area and the heavier packed down mulch stays put and the leaves get sucket up.
http://www.yardmachines.ca/ProductImages/3203.jpg

Is this gas powered and what brand?
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Florida Gardener
01-16-2012, 09:00 PM
Also, I will be sucking up bigger leaves like awabuki and magnolias...will I have any problems?
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Gilmore.Landscaping
01-16-2012, 09:02 PM
yes its Gas powered, its a Yard Machine, I got it though MTD Canada but here's their website, you can probably find something sold down your way.

http://www.mtdcanada.com/home.asp

billslawn89
01-16-2012, 09:14 PM
I have an older crapsman blower and I bought the vacuum bagger setup for it years ago and just use it for hard to get areas that I can't use the stihl blower to blow out the beds. Stihl has them as well. Like gilmore said, sweep it back and forth, and it works for me.

billslawn89
01-16-2012, 09:17 PM
http://www.stihlusa.com/blowers/shredder.html

stickleylawncare
01-16-2012, 09:34 PM
I was not a big fan of the hand help vacuums, if we need to clean up a lot of leaves from beds we use the house attachment on the Billy goat lawn vac.

Florida Gardener
01-16-2012, 09:55 PM
I was not a big fan of the hand help vacuums, if we need to clean up a lot of leaves from beds we use the house attachment on the Billy goat lawn vac.

OK, just looked up the billy goat and now am contemplating buying one.

1.) IS it too powerful where it will suck mulch or sensitive plants?
2.) How heavy is it? Could I easily lift it into the back of my truck?
3.) How much did you pay for yours?

billslawn89
01-16-2012, 10:15 PM
diamond, how big of an area are you talking about

Florida Gardener
01-16-2012, 10:20 PM
diamond, how big of an area are you talking about

its not a wide open area, just a lot of beds that have tight spots where using a blower and raking are pointless and only get up maybe 20% of the leaves.....I can also use whatever I get on other properties for sure.

billslawn89
01-16-2012, 10:31 PM
ya, just figure out which piece of equipment you get to do this and can it be used else where. When I first started some 20 years ago, I bought one of those crapsman vacuums like the billy goat with the hose attachment on it and it didn't work for my situation. It was easier to just blow the leaves from the beds into the lawn and use the mower, so that piece of equipment just sat in the barn until I sold it. Thats why I suggested the hand held vac. Sorta same situation. You know your situation so you'd pick the right one. Good Luck and let us know what you got!

Florida Gardener
01-16-2012, 10:41 PM
ya, just figure out which piece of equipment you get to do this and can it be used else where. When I first started some 20 years ago, I bought one of those crapsman vacuums like the billy goat with the hose attachment on it and it didn't work for my situation. It was easier to just blow the leaves from the beds into the lawn and use the mower, so that piece of equipment just sat in the barn until I sold it. Thats why I suggested the hand held vac. Sorta same situation. You know your situation so you'd pick the right one. Good Luck and let us know what you got!

Yea, I def. want something good. I need to shed time off this property and the leaves eat up a good amount of time. When I say a lot of leaves, it is a lot of leaves. There is a 80-100' tree right next to the property that is almost done shedding so you can imagine all the leaves. Plus, the awabuki, hibiscus, big fichus trees,etc. shed all the time.

I also have other properties with live and laurel oaks that are shedding like crazy right now. It is def. a tool that will get a lot of use.

Keith
01-16-2012, 10:54 PM
How do Billy Goat or similar vacs do on getting oak leaves up off of St Augustine? I've never used one, and I don't think I ever remember seeing one used.

Florida Gardener
01-16-2012, 11:11 PM
How do Billy Goat or similar vacs do on getting oak leaves up off of St Augustine? I've never used one, and I don't think I ever remember seeing one used.

That's a good question. Hopefully someone will chime in. The more i think about it, the more im leaning towards buying the billy goat. Just on this one property will be worth it. There are that many leaves.

stickleylawncare
01-17-2012, 03:27 PM
Other than being insanely loud and dusty, I love the billy goat lawn vacs.. especially for oak leaves. Most other leaves, once they are dry ar epretty easy to just obliterate with the mulch kit but oak leaves don't budge, or get chopped up much. The same holds true for oak leaves in the billy goat, it sucks them up just fine, they just aren't going to be reduced down in size as much. The newer models are much easier to adjust; move the main nuzzle higher or lower to the ground.

On properties you maintain on a regular schedule, it might take an extra pass or going slower, but it still sucks the leaves right up. On properties where they have been neglected and really compressed into the SA grass, sometimes it easier/faster to blow them to a hard surface then suck them right now.

The billy goat has made our leaf clean up so much faster, it has really helped us sell the yearly contracts. When people ask what they are getting for their money in the winter months, the leaf clean up is part of it and now is almost effortless. As the mowing turns to every other or every three weeks, we have a separate trailer ( our old open trailer) with just two billy goats and some higher sides to hold in the leaves. We just dump/compost what we collect back at our house.

GreenT
01-17-2012, 03:51 PM
How do Billy Goat or similar vacs do on getting oak leaves up off of St Augustine? I've never used one, and I don't think I ever remember seeing one used.


I don't vac leaves at any of our properties but I do use this (http://www.homedepot.com/buy/outdoors/outdoor-power-equipment/professional-grade-50-in-26-cu-ft-extra-wide-lawn-sweeper-87051.html) on mine.

Other than an occasional lump of spanish moss clogging up the brushes, it works fine and it's easy to use.

.

Florida Gardener
01-17-2012, 04:25 PM
Other than being insanely loud and dusty, I love the billy goat lawn vacs.. especially for oak leaves. Most other leaves, once they are dry ar epretty easy to just obliterate with the mulch kit but oak leaves don't budge, or get chopped up much. The same holds true for oak leaves in the billy goat, it sucks them up just fine, they just aren't going to be reduced down in size as much. The newer models are much easier to adjust; move the main nuzzle higher or lower to the ground.

On properties you maintain on a regular schedule, it might take an extra pass or going slower, but it still sucks the leaves right up. On properties where they have been neglected and really compressed into the SA grass, sometimes it easier/faster to blow them to a hard surface then suck them right now.

The billy goat has made our leaf clean up so much faster, it has really helped us sell the yearly contracts. When people ask what they are getting for their money in the winter months, the leaf clean up is part of it and now is almost effortless. As the mowing turns to every other or every three weeks, we have a separate trailer ( our old open trailer) with just two billy goats and some higher sides to hold in the leaves. We just dump/compost what we collect back at our house.
How loud are we talking? Enough to Pisa people off? Does it suck up mulch or rock bad? Does it suck up plants bad?
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Patriot Services
01-17-2012, 04:40 PM
No louder than a mower or blower running. But they do blow out alot of dust. The hose option adds significantly to the price and I dont think it has enough reach. Im in the market right now for one of the shred n vacs, either Stihl ($279) or Echo ($330). They are easy to handle and it just takes a little practice to avoid picking up extra crap. They do work great for that "every last leaf" manicured look. Capacity is too small for large areas but perfect for beds and patio areas.:usflag:

Florida Gardener
01-17-2012, 04:55 PM
Patriot-off topic question. What blades are you running on your Wright? Do you get blowout with your mulch kit?
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Patriot Services
01-17-2012, 04:58 PM
Right know I've got flats on for just that reason. Gators during the growing season until it gets too dry to run them. Back the throttle down a little to help.:usflag:

stickleylawncare
01-17-2012, 05:00 PM
If its brand new mulch, it can grab some of it, but you can raise the nozzle up a bit and it typically leaves the heavier stuff down. With older matted down mulch, it doesnt really touch it much at all and sucks the leaves up great. When we are cutting a lot of taller hedges/shrubs that the clippings fall into beds you cant just hide by blowing, we almost always use the hose attachment. The hose works basically like any of those hand helds, just a lot stronger and faster.

Florida Gardener
01-17-2012, 05:02 PM
Right know I've got flats on for just that reason. Gators during the growing season until it gets too dry to run them. Back the throttle down a little to help.:usflag:

You run gators with a plate or discharge? Do you run your kit at all during growing season?
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Florida Gardener
01-17-2012, 05:03 PM
If its brand new mulch, it can grab some of it, but you can raise the nozzle up a bit and it typically leaves the heavier stuff down. With older matted down mulch, it doesnt really touch it much at all and sucks the leaves up great. When we are cutting a lot of taller hedges/shrubs that the clippings fall into beds you cant just hide by blowing, we almost always use the hose attachment. The hose works basically like any of those hand helds, just a lot stronger and faster.

Do you find the hose is long enough?
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Patriot Services
01-17-2012, 05:45 PM
You run gators with a plate or discharge? Do you run your kit at all during growing season?
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I ran all this year here with just the plate. It all but eliminated any stringers. I haven't discharged ever in FL
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LGL
01-17-2012, 05:57 PM
Sounds like your best bet is the Shred N Vac, I have the Little Wonder Vac, works good on the big stuff after I blow into the driveway, but honestly, I think my helper and I can bag it faster. I may look into the Shred N Vac model as well.

Florida Gardener
01-17-2012, 06:23 PM
I ran all this year here with just the plate. It all but eliminated any stringers. I haven't discharged ever in FL
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How are you not getting blowout or the line on the side?? Do you raise your deck or blades higher? I have run gators with the plate and it leaves the "clumps" on the top of the turf.....

Patriot Services
01-17-2012, 06:26 PM
How are you not getting blowout or the line on the side?? Do you raise your deck or blades higher? I have run gators with the plate and it leaves the "clumps" on the top of the turf.....

Haven't had either problem and I've ran it that way since I bought it in 07. When its starts to blowout that's my cue to put the flats back on. Are you running fixed or floating deck?
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Florida Gardener
01-17-2012, 06:29 PM
Haven't had either problem and I've ran it that way since I bought it in 07. When its starts to blowout that's my cue to put the flats back on. Are you running fixed or floating deck?
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By flats do you mean the stock blades?

I have the fixed deck. I keep the blades with 1 spacer on top of the blade during summer and 2 on top during winter....

Patriot Services
01-17-2012, 06:39 PM
There as generic as can be. I matched them up at a fleamarket. No wave, no sail or ridges, perfectly flat. I run 1 spacer year round. I'm really only cutting tall weeds and a few leaves. With the dryer soil I don't want a ton of lift. Like I said cutting back to 3/4 throttle helps too.
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zturncutter
01-17-2012, 09:05 PM
Flats also stay sharper longer because you are not wearing off the edge with all the sand. I use them all winter.

Florida Gardener
01-17-2012, 09:10 PM
Flats also stay sharper longer because you are not wearing off the edge with all the sand. I use them all winter.

can u post a pic??

zturncutter
01-17-2012, 09:21 PM
Trying to find online, been buying through my dealer. They are completely flat no lift, sharpened from the spindle hole to the tip.