Posted: 11/12/2013 at 00:09
I have just registered with the forum this evening, and this is my first post.
If you have a combination blower/vacuum, my advice is: throw away the vacuum part. The collection bag is only going to be about 50 litre capacity. That amounts to bugger all leaves, even if you have a machine which shreds the leaves as they pass through it. My blower, set to vac, pulls up the world of debris, and the motor has seized up a number of times after picking up twigs, wet leaves and even litter. It is a good make too; a Mc*******h.
Better to blow your leaves into manageable piles around your garden, then pick them up using a snow scoop (that's right) and a leaf rake or bass broom. A blower will only really work on dry leaves anyway - resign yourself to raking and sweeping at some point, and to some extent.
Once you have your leaf piles, do not be tempted to buy the big plastic 'magic hands' grabbers you see in garden centres - they're rubbish. A pair of Mk I human hands (with work gloves) picks up pretty much the same amount of leaf.
Don't try to put them directly into a green bag - that way, madness lies. The bag flaps in the breeze and collapses in the calm. You will use bad language. Get a plastic tub from your local hardware or garden centre and line it with your green bag. The tub holds the bag open for you to dump your leaves in.
The temptation is to think that a leaf blower will cure all leaf-fall-related ills. It won't. They are good to an extent, but don't have unrealistic expectations. I'm into my third year of gardening for a living - leaf clearing is the 'bread and butter' of my work at the moment. At the end of any given leaf-clearing job, the first thing I stick on the car is the leaf blower, and the last things to go on are a leaf rake, bass broom, dustpan and brush.
I hope this helped!