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Old 04-23-2012, 10:51 AM   #1
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Leaf Bagging


Recommendations for the easiest way to bag leaves?

The best I've found so far is to use a square garbage can, put a bag in it, securing the bag as bast I can to the top lip of the can - clothes pins usually work. I can then lay the can down and rake into the bag. Tip the can up occasionally to let gravity compact the bag, then lay it back down to scoop some more. Make sure there's a hole in the bottom of the garbage can, so the air can escape as the bag fills up with leaves.

Branches tend to poke the bag. If not while the bag gets filled, then when the bag stretches when I pull the bag out of the can. A garbage can with rollers allows me to wheel the bag to the side of the road for collection, minimizing carrying and straining the bag.

I searched around a bit, and found a couple of companies that have, basically, plastic inserts that go inside the bag (instead of outside the bag, like my garbage can), but the price seems a bit rich for what it is. Then agaian, if they work... That's why I'm looking for feedback. I also like the idea of laying the can/bag down to be raked into, rather than picking up the leaves and dropping them into the can.

I've tried the mulching and composting route. All my trees seem to be live oaks. The leaves don't absorb moisture, and so they wont decompose. At the end of a year, all I have is a year old pile of leaves. I've tried compost starter, adding kitchen waste such as coffee grinds (stuff that won't encourage the racoons and possums destroying the mulch pile looking for food, but should help all those "bugs" and bacteria decomposing my leaves). I give up. Let the county decompose these leaves along with the other yard waste they haul off.

I typically have a LOT of leaves. 1/2 acre lot. I can go about 20' with my riding lawnmower, and the grass catcher is full (assuming I haven't clogged the chute between the mower deck and catch cans with leaves in the process). Riding mower is not very effective. Something like the Monster Leaf Bag would give me more capacity, but then I'd have to transfer the leaves from that bag into something small enough, light enough, and economical enough for the county yard waste collection. Hand raking into bags is good enough for me. I'm lazy, but buying a big bag to use my riding mower, only to have to transfer the leaves into more bags for disposal - seems easier to just rake up the leaves by hand and into the smaller bags.

The Snap Bagger looks like an interesting concept, but I don't know how well this would work with something as dense and heavy as my live oak leaves. I can easily overload typical yard waste bags, and have to use the heavy Contractor bags.

Anything else I should look at? I did a search on the forum, but couldn't ifnd anything specifically on bagging leaves.

aTdHvAaNnKcSe

LazyOne
N/E Florida, USA

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Old 04-23-2012, 11:32 AM   #2
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Leaf Bagging


I'm on a 1 acre lot, with a lot of big mature oak, walnut and ash trees. Love the trees, but don't love the leaves in the fall!

Years ago, when my sons & I did our lawn-care business, I would have just done the deed with the John Deere mower & PowerFlo Bagger. But I don't have that equipment anymore...

What I use is an old push mower, with a bagger. I mow over the leaves once to mulch them, without the bagger. Then I go over the same area with the bagger & suck them up. I've found that I can get about 4x as many leaves in the lawn refuse bag, as when I just bagged them the first time over (if that makes any sense).

I use paper lawn refuse bags, set them by the curb, and the City picks them up as part of the Garbage Service we pay for.

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Old 04-23-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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Leaf Bagging


Did you try chopping them up with the lawn tractor. I refuse to rake

Just keep running over them until they are tiny. The worms will take care of the rest
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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Leaf Bagging


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Originally Posted by creeper View Post
Did you try chopping them up with the lawn tractor. I refuse to rake

Just keep running over them until they are tiny. The worms will take care of the rest
Actually, for those of us who have too many leaves, that doesn't always work. I've had leaf mulch so thick that it prevents the grass from growing the next spring.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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Leaf Bagging


I thought I may potentially have had that problem as I was chopping last fall, but I proceeded anyway, thinking I would take care of it when I do a dethatch rake in the spring. As it turns out I had a huge amount of tiny clumps of worm castings.
It worked for me, but obviously if you are running a landscaping company that may not go over too well with the customer. Its a little messy
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
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Leaf Bagging


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Originally Posted by DrHicks View Post
Actually, for those of us who have too many leaves, that doesn't always work. I've had leaf mulch so thick that it prevents the grass from growing the next spring.
Friend of mine and I were just commenting yesterday, that about the only place to find worms here in Florida is at a bait shop. You won't find them in our sandy soil. I sometimes joke that hydroponic gardening got it's start by seeing how things grow here in Florida. The sand doesn't retain much in the way of nutrients.

If I can't get the leaves to decompose in a compost pile, I've got even less of a chance getting it to work by leaving them in the yard. As to chopping them up in the mower - a nice theory, but the leaves are so thin and hard, they just get swirled around in the mower deck, and dropped right back down. OTOH, raking 'em up, they tend to stack into nice dense piles. As I said, it's easy to overload a bag, especially if there's any moisture in with them.

Trust me - if I could just rake them up into a pile and let mother nature decompose them into a mulch I could use in the garden, I would. They don't, so I can't.

Although I have 1/2 acre, local laws prohibit burning within 200' of a residence. so that option is out as well (not to mention the neusance of the acrid smoke). Maybe if I could build an incinerator that could properly burn then, but I haven't heard of anyone building a leaf incinerator.

Like I said, I have no problem with the county taking them away as yard debris. The problem is getting them bagged as easy as possible to facilitate the process. They have a better compost pile than I'll ever have.

This also isn't something I only need to do once a year. These live oaks seem to be constantly shedding leaves, and nature does a good job of pruning branches during our summer tropical gullywashers.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:44 PM   #7
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Leaf Bagging


Those plastic sleeves actually work out pretty well for standard leaf bags. I have purchased the ones that come with a large funnel that goes in the top. Makes it so you don't have to aim so carefully. The sleeve keeps the bag upright. I don't remember them being outrageous and like $25-30?

Mulching and then bagging with a mower helped on lawn areas but of course was of no help among shrubbery, ground cover and so forth.

Leaf and twig/branch pickup was free twice a year where I used to live and you could buy stickers for pickup through the year. The community had a magical landscape waste recycling operation. You could only use standard, biodegradable paper bags and not the oversized ones.

Acorns were a real pain and even the standard bags got very heavy. Darn squirrels thought nothing of taking one bite each out of tomatoes but didn't seem to want to bother with acorns like squirrels are supposed to---at least in cartoons. Pine needles, even with a needle rake, were no picnic either.

Last edited by user1007; 04-23-2012 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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Leaf Bagging


Quote:
Originally Posted by DrHicks View Post
I'm on a 1 acre lot, with a lot of big mature oak, walnut and ash trees. Love the trees, but don't love the leaves in the fall!

Years ago, when my sons & I did our lawn-care business, I would have just done the deed with the John Deere mower & PowerFlo Bagger. But I don't have that equipment anymore...

What I use is an old push mower, with a bagger. I mow over the leaves once to mulch them, without the bagger. Then I go over the same area with the bagger & suck them up. I've found that I can get about 4x as many leaves in the lawn refuse bag, as when I just bagged them the first time over (if that makes any sense).

I use paper lawn refuse bags, set them by the curb, and the City picks them up as part of the Garbage Service we pay for.
I go through in the neighborhood of 170 bags a year. Not much fun. All I can say is I rake them into a pile, open up the bag and lay it down next to the leaves and start pushing them in. It works way better when they are slightly damp
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:09 PM   #9
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Leaf Bagging


I'd *never* pay for bags and I tried setting them out by the road for the County to vacuum up but that ended up killing too much grass

Luckily the riding mower (mulching blade) with bagger attachment does a great job of collecting everything that isn't attached to the ground for close to an acre with a LOT of trees including three big oaks.
The only PITA is running to the back of the lot (where the woods are) to dump the leaves.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:15 PM   #10
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Leaf Bagging


When we moved in to the house we are in now we had no idea there would be so many leaves. I guess we missed seeing the 3-50 ft. red maples, 2 -70 ft. locust, one 50 ft. tulip popular with a 80 long row of 8 ft tall honeysuckle.

So after fighting the fall leaf battle for two years, our bad backs begged us to get this. Love it.

http://images.lowes.com/product/conv...33555932xl.jpg
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:17 PM   #11
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Leaf Bagging


Well, you still have to empty the collection bag into a disposal bag, and that was what my question was really about.

LazyOne
N/E Florida, USA
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:35 PM   #12
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Leaf Bagging


You picked your name well

I think you need some goats

Last edited by creeper; 04-24-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:43 PM   #13
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Leaf Bagging


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Well, you still have to empty the collection bag into a disposal bag, and that was what my question was really about.

LazyOne
N/E Florida, USA
Yes I know, but now my bags are reduced to a 8:1 ratio
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:38 PM   #14
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Leaf Bagging


Saw this looking for images. It is a pop-up so stores flat. $20 retail.


This is what I usually bought but with both the insert sleeve and the matching funnel. They sell the funnel separate at some places but the bags collapse.


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