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Shredding Leaves

As I mentioned in a previous post, I use a leaf blower/vacuum to collect the leaves in my yard and then add the shredded leaves from the bag to my compost bins. This works out nicely as the vacuum does break down the leaves to smaller pieces that will compost faster than the whole leaf. But I watched my neighbor use her chipper/shredder on the leaves and I was a bit envious since the leaves were shredded to almost dirt particles. The chipper/shredded makes twice as much noise as my leaf vacuum but at least she was not wearing the vacuum bag on her shoulders like I was doing. Perhaps, there was something to it. But then my neighbor got a branch stuck in the feeder and she had to turn off the machine and unclog things. It did take some time to unclog the feeder and restart the machine.

I decided to try using my string trimmer rather than the vacuum. I must say – I was happy to take the collection bag off my shoulders.

Leaves in container ready to shred with string trimmer.

I found a 45 gallon storage container in the shed. Brought it outside and using a rake put some of the leaves into it. I started the string trimmer and proceeded to shred up the leaves in the container. It took only a few minutes to grind the leaves into pieces less than the size of a quarter. It sure did make quick work. I was able to add some of the shredded leaves to the compost bin and to top off my garden beds.

My leaf blower/vacuum has a metal impeller that does shred the leaves before entering the bag but I did find that the string trimmer shredded them to a finer degree. Both methods, leaf vacuum or string trimmer, require lifting, bending and hauling the leaves or shredded leaves. But it might be possible the the string trimmer does the better job.

Oh, BTW, I did try shredding the leaves in an empty garbage can but I found that using a container that tall prevented some of the leaves on the bottom from getting touched at all by the string trimmer. The storage container was wider and shallower which permitted the trimmer to hit all of the leaves.

Shredded leaves ready to put in compost bin