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Question about leaves in flower beds, etc.

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by OKSooner, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. OKSooner

    OKSooner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 234

    Cold day in January, not much work to do today except taxes. So here' a question about something that I probably should have asked in October.

    What do you guys do about leaf removal in bedding areas? The reason I ask is that I recently did a leaf job that had a lot of sycamore and oak leaves accumulated in the beds. I used my blower to get them out into the lawn, where I picked them up in a barrel and hauled them to the truck.

    I did get all the leaves, but I think all the mulch went with the leaves at the same time. Now this particular job might have been an exception, with leaves piled up knee-high in some places, but still... what's the trick to getting the leaves out of flower and shrub beds without disturbing whatever mulch is in place? (A couple of years ago I had the same problem with a different client, and honestly she was right - I was messing up her mulch as much as I was removing leaves.) Or, should I just haul a pallet of mulch in the bed of the truck and make a business case to the customer that leaf time is also a good time to do new mulch in the beds?

    TIA, open for discussion.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  2. clean_cut

    clean_cut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,327

    Its hard not to move the mulch, I guess it's just best to idle/low throttle the blower, and blow along the bed so that if you do get some mulch picked up, it will just drop back somewhere else in the bed. If the leaves are deep enough, you might also want to try blowing 'over' the mulch, so that the blower will blow only the leaves and not the mulch.

    Hope this helps! I hope some others will chime in soon too.
  3. mr.q

    mr.q LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    The best way to do it is either leave the blower on low or rake if its a small enough bed. If the mulch has been there for a while it wont blow off that easily. But if it does, suggest to the owner that after the leaf season is over for them to let you put a fresh coat of mulch down. Also use your mower to suck up the leaves.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    It is always the last thing we do in the spring. Once is enough because it can be time consuming. The mulch also has a tendcy to press together a little better after months of snow and rain, so on a wet day lightly blowing and raking is not too bad.

    Then get the client to spring for a bit of fresh mulch to lightly cover the apparent thin areas.

    It is always a difficult process, but as the final cleanup in the spring, at least it is only a one time cost to the client.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    i try to idle the blower. if its one of my regular customers and i know ill be doing mulch there i the spring i dont worry about it
  6. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    Hold the blower above the leaves and let them sort of get sucked up and out. Alter rpms while doing this...
  7. dtelawn

    dtelawn LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 113

    I bought the vac for my hand held blower. It does a good job. The trick is moderation with it though. It works well if you use it at a good pace. As already stated try blowing over the bed and then suck up what doesn't come out.

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