Best method for one man leaf removal in a large yard

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by macgyer58, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I am a solo operator that has 20 residential cleans to do in the Green Bay area. Lots of leaves. You have a few options and it is not as bad as you may think.
    You don't say what type of mower you have or if you have bagging ability so I will say that you don't need bagging capability unless you want a very manicured end result.
    With oaks you want to get rid of most leaves. They are full of acid and will screw up the balance of the lawn if you mulch huge piles. That being said, it is OK to mulch some of them.
    The first thing you need is a set of "gator" type blades for your mower. If they make an OCDC for your Z then you should get one or fab your own. Mulching is a great thing and the gators will reduce the leaves as you cut. You definately need a BIG backpack blower. Preference is yours but Stihl, Redmax, Husky make large cfm backpacks. They weigh about 25lbs and cost about 500 bucks, money well spent. Try them out first to see what you like but go as big as you can. You will not regret spending this money.
    If you can blow most of the leaves back past the edges you are in good shape. You use the Z to push as many as you can to the tree line. Use the backpack to finish up. You can mulch leaves at the start when there is a light cover but as more fall you want them off. Try and work when the leaves are dry as they will turn to dust easier.
    If you absolutely want to buy a walk behind blower then I suggest this set up by JRCO. It is fast and functional if you have the lawns for it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sph1cNdCRUw

    If you get to the point where you want to have the lawn maincured then a bagging system for your Z or consider a Walker however that is an expensive (I love mine) option. I make money with my Walker so I use it with my Toro Z.
    One guy can definately take care of a lot of area and do it efficiently. It matters on how much you want to spend on equipment but 2 acres isn't that bad whe you are equipped right. Good Luck.
     
  2. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,493

    buy a backpack blower to clean out corners, and beds and underneath shrubs and stuff, and then a wheeled blower such as a 9hp little wonder or whatever brand you want, but i personally have a 9hp little wonder its probably the best i've ever used. then a leaf plow for when the little wonder loses its effectiveness, then a bagger system for the mower for the finishing touches, and if you had the haul the leaves away a leaf vac that shreds debris and loads it into a truck. but you said you can put them in the woods. good luck.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    I have a place that is 3 acres and mostly trees and I just can't find something that would work as efficiently as tarps... it like using a dishwasher, then finding out it is not a timesaver at all... :)
     
  4. C1T2H

    C1T2H LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    mow back and forth with discharge shoot towards the woods, then leaf blower to get it further in the woods, very fast!
     
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,128

    If it's going to the woods I don't bother mulching it up first with the mower...just blow to woods in bulk. I have a lot of properties I do this on, probably half or so....2+ acre lots with wooded buffers surrounding them on 3 sides usually. I blow them more as a front than a pile. When I'm done you can't even tell they're there.
     
  6. lalllc

    lalllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    tarps. #1 blow on to the tarp and drag to curb. #2 lot ,with a fence and woods behind fence. set tarp on fence then use tarp as a ramp to shoot over fence. #3 set up a tarp as a ramp into your truck, use blower to put leaves in bed of truck. # hire some workers and bill it by the man hour.
     
  7. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,421

    If I'm solo on a leaf job I sometimes set up the little wonder behind me while I run a backpack. I always use a walkbehind as a tow vehicle when I have to tarp to the street.
     
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,128

    I've run my wheel blower and 2 backpack blowers at the same time before for pitching leaves into the woods, 1 backpack and one handheld and one backpack and the wheel blower. I even use my trimmer and blower at the same times sometimes. I'm talking as a one man crew. When using the wheel blower along with other blowers I use the backpack to feed the wheel blower which is stationary. Great for blowing through fences, over stone walls etc.
     
  9. holmesgts

    holmesgts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    start mowing around your house if you have a tractor and blow the clippings away from the house keep making circles or whatever the shape may be blowing everything away from the house to the edges of the property. then clean them up where you have to and leave the rest in the woods. i do this at my moms and she a 7 acre yard with lots of trees and it works just don't let them pile up to thick if they are real thick you may have to raise your mower deck the first run and then lower it and repeat
     
  10. redmax fan

    redmax fan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,213

    ive only read 1st post . when youve got that machine and are only doing your own yard where you can take a 60 minute spin anytime you want you just set the blades up high and keep takin a spin every 3 days or so to keep everything chopped up and the minerals headed back into ground where you want them . and oak leaf is acidic and'll create an acidic soil that not good for turf so you also spread pelletized lime a couple times per year . on job sites i never get blowers out til ive run mower on highest setting over leafs several times and chopped em up to powder , then blow out beds n such and mow again . keep the minerals back in the soil and avoid hauling leaf all over the planet and in process burnin up more gas in enviroment / wearing on trucks / making for more work force time wasted doin unneeded stuff . i dont like burning up my life raking leaves because somebody wants a pretty lawn , and like i said its bad for enviroment hauling leaves around plus bad for soil to boot . common sense has gone out the window in this nation long time ago and its being run by lost punk '' leadership '' using tv to dictate to people . turn that goddamn thing off or be brainwashed into a stupid idiot by it
     

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