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To leaf blower or not leaf blower, that is the question:(9 posts)

To leaf blower or not leaf blower, that is the question:filtersweep
Oct 11, 2003 10:26 AM
I'm contemplating a blower, as if the title didn't give this away... I have two HUGE trees in the backyard, and medium trees and bushes everywhere... as I have described it before, the landscaping is a bit... "adventurous" (due to previous owners).

Anyway I did a quick search on the top and came across articles such as this:

"Leaf Blowers: Scourge of Humanity

By Janet Cox

I have tremendous sympathy for those who have to live in inner cities and neighborhoods that have boom cars disturbing the peace. However, I want to emphasize just how stressful the proliferation of leaf blowers has been to my life. I think gardening machinery in general is a scourge on society. I think leaf blowers should remain a major priority too. Some people are only bothered by them 20 minutes a day and don't realize just how horrible they can be, so I wanted to share what my life has been like with leaf blowers. It has been completely unbearable and I wonder if anyone else has been bombarded while trying to live a normal life at least three hours daily for 12 years.

I wasn't aware that leaf blowers existed living in forested Mill Valley, California, but in 1989, I married and moved to Sacramento, the city of trees, to live in a beautiful townhouse community. Our townhouse was adjacent to a wonderful little shopping complex with great stores such as Williams Sonoma, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren Polo, Banana Republic, and Borders Books! I thought I was in heaven living so close to great places to shop. There was a very nice office building next to the shopping center, also adjacent to our townhouse property.

As newlyweds, we had been living there about two days when early on a Saturday morning we decided to try out our new patio furniture on the back deck and have an outdoor breakfast. We set the table with fresh cut flowers and the new linens, silverware and dishes we received as a wedding gifts. While Greg made waffles in the new heart shaped waffle-iron, I made coffee and squeezed fresh oranges. During all of these preparations we could hear some buzzing sounds off in the distance, but did not pay much attention to it. By the time we actually brought the food to the table, the buzzing was a bit louder. We ignored it so we could continue our romantic breakfast outdoors. When we actually started eating, the noise became unbearable. While trying to cover our ears, we grabbed as much as we could from the table to carry it inside and close the door which still did not block out the sound. It was horrifying. We tried to continue to enjoy our breakfast, but the mood was broken. I decided to find out what this noise was.

I stuffed some tissue in my ears and got a ladder from the garage to climb up and see what was on the other side of the redwood fence. There I saw two gardeners using machines called leaf blowers. I started shouting as loud to get their attention until they finally turned off the blowers. I pointed at the blowers and said that they were much too loud. The gardeners did not speak any English and appeared confused about what my problem might be.

Over the twelve years we lived in that townhouse complex, the shopping center and office building next door had gardening companies that used leaf blowers to clean the parking lots seven days a week, including holidays. On the first Thanksgiving in our townhouse, I was just putting the turkey in the oven when my cousin and aunt arrived; I had not seen them in four years. At the time at their arrival, two gardeners were on the other side of the fence with leaf blowers going full blast. We had to shout our hellos while we helped my elderly aunt out of the car and explain by gesturing and pointing to show my cousin where he could park his car.

During our years living in this location we became active politically in with Citizens for a Quieter Sacramento. They were working on a ban with the city of Sacramento. It wouldn't have done anything for our problem wi
Go electric....MR_GRUMPY
Oct 11, 2003 5:03 PM
Electric blowers have a higher velocity air stream and are much quieter than gas blowers. Much cheaper too. Get a couple of heavy duty extension cords and you'll be good for 200 ft.
Most worthless invention - ever.Skip
Oct 11, 2003 6:11 PM
You waste time, money, and energy to blow leaves, debris, etc. from point A to point B, only to have mother nature rearrange your efforts back to the lowest common entropy.

If you are going to take the time, and consume some sort of energy, in a device such as a leaf blower, why not turn the intake/outake ports around & suck them up for disposal.

Besides; talk about noise polution! JHC.
Oct 11, 2003 7:13 PM
Got a few neighbors who use electric shop vacs to "pickup" leaves. I have larger leaf droppings and find a bamboo rake is very efficient in consolidating the leaf droppings.

And if you want to make a statement, just start early in the morning.

Rake on

I just blow them into a big pileMR_GRUMPY
Oct 12, 2003 6:38 AM
and then reverse the blower into a mulcher-bagger and put the mulch into big leaf bags that are taken away with the recycling.
I'm pretty sure that you can't mulch with a gas blower.
Gas blower will also do thiszman994
Oct 13, 2003 1:50 PM
Compressed airStarliner
Oct 11, 2003 10:37 PM
I have a 220V industrial compressor which I use for my work in my home studio. Fixed in place, it's plumbed through the attic, with connections poking out at strategic spots around the house perimeter. Come autumn, I can hook up a string of air lines and a blower nozzle and blow out the leaves from areas where rakes don't work, such as shrubbery and beds.

Cost is alot, around $1500, but its a business expense for me. I also use it for running pneumatic tools, sandblasting and painting. Couldn't do without it.
Mulching solutionfiltersweep
Oct 13, 2003 5:21 AM
Last night I just hooked up the mulching "attachment" on the mower and just mowed over all the leaves- they were blasted to smithereens and should help the soil- and it is easier than raking, bagging, blowing, or anything... it took some convincing of my wife, who initially thought I was just being lazy ;)
the heck with the neighbors...loki_1
Oct 13, 2003 1:29 PM
I have had both electric and gas. Gas is more powerful, less hassle and yes, you can mulch with many of them.

I find them useful for getting the leaves out of the landscaping and clearing the driveway and sidewalks.

For light to medium loads they work well but I will use the rake for late fall and final cleanup.

Bought my dad one of the backpack style blowers, talk about power and comfort. I'll have to borrow that one this year and see how it performs with a heavy load.