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does anyone else hate the leaf harvest?

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#1 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 04:19 PM

I sure do!  I like mowing,  don't mind snow blowing unless it is the wet/heavy crap that plugs my blower, but leaves?  Hours spent to look like you did nothing when finished, have not yet found a machine that actually helps unless I mow almost daily and mulch em up as they fall, a few at a  time. I have a 70-some year old neighbor that does so but he really doesn't have much else better to do anyway.

bought a Stihl hand held leaf blower last year; again OK if you don't have many, eventually the windrow overwhelms the blower,

have a trac vac, tired of unclogging it, and the way my yard is laid out  I really cannot maneuver it very well,

the mower I used it behind was a late '80s Woods ZTR (same as Grasshopper in that day)  that would rather plow them than eat them up. Now the ZTR sits with a dead left hydro motor, all I can do with it, is counter clockwise donuts.... and I'm not spending $550 on a Ebay used hydro or $700 for a new hydro. (Eaton 7) I have 2 Cubs that I have not had time to get running yet, a 129 and a 1250. both are deemed winter projects/ I wonder at the moment if they'd handle the leaves any better? I doubt it.

I have the trac vac on CL as we speak, I think I'd rather have the space it takes the other 3 seasons, instead.

never had a mower that would do anything but "plow" them in front of the deck and then if it finally does topple the pile it smothers the blade and kills the mower--- or it spits more leaves out the edges than it chops up and throws out the chute.


when will someone come up with a machine that actually does save time in keeping up with leaves??
I always wind up back to the old manual, hand leaf rake.... and it is one task I have never been able to get help with from son or wife....

Fortunately I live where I can still pile em in the ditch and add gas and a match to get rid of them. and I do not mind the smell of em burning.  but getting them from the rest of the yard to the ditch is the problem.

I know of a few who removed all their trees thinking their days of harvesting leaves are over but with the wind + neighbors' trees  that did not cure the leaf harvest for them either.

Edited by dodge trucker, November 01, 2015 - 04:20 PM.

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#2 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 04:24 PM

I usually bag them up with the mower a couple times a week till the trees are bare. Got good high lift blades on the little cub cadet which picks them up pretty well but lots of stops to empty the bags!




The only thing I have ever seen that made the leaves "Disappear" without bagging was the Bolens GRS "Grass reduction" system

That was optional equipment for the late 80's early 90's Bolens mowers , you can still find NOS kits for these


https://books.google...ens GRS&f=false

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#3 Jazz OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 04:37 PM

I let Mother Nature take care of them..Don't sweat the little things in life.  I see my neighbours out with all sorts of contraptions on their tractors or walking around with leaf blowers and leaf suckers. Thats right up there with pulling weeds.  I got better things to do.

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#4 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 04:41 PM

I used a leaf vac behind my WH Raider 9  for many years on a 1/4 acre lawn with heavy leaves. I found that when the leaves were deep, it worked best to lift the deck and just pick up leaves. I would empty the trailer multiple times and then mow again with the deck lower( but not as low as normal mowing).  


I now just use the bagger system on my JD111 lawn tractor. I have a smaller yard now.  Good Luck, Rick

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#5 greenb69 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 04:49 PM

I just mulch them up with the mower and let them go back to fertilizer. I have 2 acres of grass and 12 acres of trees. No way can I keep up.
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#6 propane1 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 05:04 PM

Mother Nature, and a garden tractor, end of leafs. No raking or collecting leafs for me. Noel
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#7 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  



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Posted November 01, 2015 - 05:08 PM

Bolens HT20D with a Haban Flail-Mo out front.


Wait until they are dry, and it turns them into dust  :D :D :D

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#8 pharmer OFFLINE  



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Posted November 01, 2015 - 05:40 PM

Mulch them, bag them with the Deere. Dump them into my trailer. Haul them way out to edge of my woods with my Horse. When the pile gets to big I bulldoze further into the woods with my Bolens. Repeat. A lot of seat time which turns into a pain in the a$$. I have pines and maples. Sugar maples are bare. Swamp maples are still full and green. I need to find some drivers.
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Posted November 01, 2015 - 05:54 PM

Mother nature here.  Mulch 'em up with the mower in place and forget about 'em.  Working for a municipality where I have to go around and pick everyone else's up I am glad to not worry about mine at the end of the day.  They are great yard fertilizer anyway.

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#10 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 05:58 PM

looks like I need to look for a different mower, as I see a lot of responses that say their mower handles them.... I have had many and have yet to have one that handles the leaves very well...

I wont be able to try either this year but I have the 2 Cubs, one with a 44" deck and the other with a 50, wait til next year when both are running, see if either of those is better than a rake. No matter how high I set the deck all the mowers I have tried just plow them......

on the weeds I agree//// gas powered weedeater and 2,4-D  I do not pull them either.

Edited by dodge trucker, November 01, 2015 - 05:59 PM.

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#11 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  



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Posted November 01, 2015 - 06:00 PM

I cut all my trees down. No more leaf/limb problems
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#12 EricFromPa OFFLINE  



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Posted November 01, 2015 - 06:14 PM

I usually just take the chute off the push mower and mulch them up.Neighbor has 2 big maple trees and all the leaves end up in my yard.


That reminds me I have to either fix the hole in my mulching mower deck or find another deck.She's getting to the point of it blowing grass and stuff back at my legs.I've Never bought a NEW mower maybe it's time to unless I can find another good deal on Craigslist which is getting hard to do around here.I'm Not paying $100-$200 for a good used push mower with Mulch plug lol

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#13 DennyIN OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 06:33 PM

My brother and I used to clean up our folks house each fall, their house was in a woods on a one acre lot, but we mowed beyond the property line. We would start around 10-10:30 in the morning and finish at dark. I finally bought some gator blades on put on my JD265. My brother kept the leaves away from the house and trees with a blower and I just kept cutting until they were all mulched up. We were done by 2:30 in the afternoon when we did it that way. No more burning just mulching. I sometimes pushed leaves and stacked them up in front to the point that my front wheels came off the ground, just spread em out and mowed em over. Cut high to begin with and keep lowering until they were all gone. I think I would end up mowing the yard like 4 times to get the leaves all vaporized. 

#14 glgrumpy OFFLINE  


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Posted November 01, 2015 - 06:35 PM

Just did some of mine today, Maples.  I just set deck up a little and drove over and to center of yard or section, down each side  many times. Then start right up center and blow back out, then do again with mower lower like cutting grass. Sometimes you have to slow down to let blades eat up the pile  you just rolled under it. They aren't completely gone, yet very small now and few days, won't see them.  Might have to do another time tho, some trees not done yet. A mulcher deck and those Gator blades would make it easier and better chopped I bet. I don't collect anymore either.

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#15 chieffan OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 07:14 PM

First off, regardless of how you decide to handle leaves they must be DRY.  One cannot do much but get worked up trying to handle wet leaves.  Rather than take the whole yard at once, divide it up and start blowing to the sides if your not collecting.  Those gator blades are the greatest to grind up those leaves.  Like GL said, slow down and may have to go over it a few time but they will grind up fine enough to go by the way side.  I have a bagger and do bag up a bunch to use as bedding for the goats this winter.  Cheaper than buying straw or grass hay.

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