Leaf removal, the best way?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by miketina, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. miketina

    miketina LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Can you guys give me your input on the best way to do a fall clean- up without the use of vacuums? I have been using my mower to do the job but was wondering if there was an easier way. How does the tarp method work?
  2. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Messages: 2,572

    before my vacs, I mulched as much as possible, then bagged the "dust".......I don't care to tarp leaves........although it is a recognized way to handle them.......
  3. EngineeredLawns

    EngineeredLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    The best way to do them is to pay someone to do the leaves. If you are looking for the fastest way, it is prbably blowers and tarps, the mower is probably the easiest, but the best way is different for each job. There are to many variables such as are you blowing into the wood, taking the leaves to the curb, removing the leaves, shrubs, mulch beds etc. Some ways are better depending on the number of people working and other methods are better for the solo operator.
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    There are far too many variables involved to provide an answer to your simple question. Where can the leaves go (e.g. hauled away, blowing into woods, dumped on a pile), the nature of the turf, the leaf burden, the obstacles in the lawns, size of the lawns, the nature of the surrounding landscape, the manpower and equipment you have to do the job, the dry/wet/damp nature of the leaves, the direction and strength of the wind on the day to work, and the list goes on and on.

    I used all kinds of methods, often doing something different on the same property on different visits. Some of the practices I used many years ago were very labor-intensive, and not very successful. Over the years, I have changed many practices on how I do leaves, and it changes from property to property. I have a small operation, and cannot afford to drain lots of money into equipment. Therefore, I make changes that work for my operation, and do what is necessary to get the job done.

    For me, I use a hand blower, an 8hp wheeled blower, a ZTR mower, a w/b mower with bagger, four 8X10 tarps, two 7X7 tarps, two steel-tined rakes, one adjustable width rake, a LawnBoy 21" mower with mulcher and bagger, a Toro Proline 21" mower with mulcher and bagger, a 5X10 open trailer for hauling debris, two pitchforks, one silage fork, a refuse hook, and the list goes on. And, to that mix, I need to add a very large dose of human energy, all of which comes from plain hard work!

    I don't mean to be evasive, but there is no simple answer to your question. Part of the productivity factor comes from devising the right strategy to use when making a visit.
  5. loom-gen

    loom-gen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    I will always recomend tarps for moving large amounts of leaves. Simply start in one part of a yard with the wind to your back. start blowing (or raking if you are poor) the leaves into a pile. when the pile no longer moves because it gets too big, tarp it and drag it to a designated location. If you do the mulch down method, you should still try to remove a large portion of the debris to prevent stress from decaying materials. I use the clam shell hopper with the vac on a 61 tiger for green space. Then I vaccum up the pule with a billy goat and blow it into a 9 x 12 x 5 leaf box on the back of a one ton dump truck. This still isn't fast enough and I still have to use a rake.
  6. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    a tarp is a great start, a good walk blower does wonders,leaf plows on a ztr does wonders when you have piles to move from point a to b.If i was in your position I would find someone to do your vacuuming for ya at the curb.that way all you have to do is make a big pile in front of the house an have your sucker to suckem up! I wouldn't do any leaf work period without a vacuum they are just so valuable during leaf season! have fun George
  7. Cheapscapes

    Cheapscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    think Roger said it the best...no one answer..and no matter how you do it its hard work..my .02$

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