Author Topic: Leaf blowing  (Read 5831 times)

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Larrabee

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Leaf blowing
« on: November 12, 2011, 05:31:17 PM »
This was inspired by a thread in one of the general folders.

I often hear or read about people in the US using leaf blowers to get rid of the dead leaves in their gardens.  Is this very common?  Is it something everybody is expected to do along the lines of mowing your lawn?  Is it considered un-neighbourly or uncouth if you just leave the leaves where they are?

I ask because I've never seen or heard of leaf blowers in the UK.  Some people will use a rake to clear dead leaves off their lawn if they care enough but lots just leave them be, I don't think its considered ugly or scruffy although maybe it is in some parts of the country!

oz diva

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2011, 05:37:06 PM »
My husband wants a leaf blower but actually we have barely any leaves to blow. They are getting more popular here, but I prefer a rake, and I've raked plenty of leaves in my time. Leaf blowers are noisy.

My husband thought he was getting a leaf blower for his 40th birthday, boy was he wrong. I sent him diving with the sharks at the aquarium instead.

Victoria

BabylonSister

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2011, 07:05:16 PM »
A lot of people have leaf blowers (and snow blowers around here too) but it's not at all uncommon to rake the leaves as well. I've always raked. It's not exhausting if you don't have a huge lawn.


I don't know if it would be considered un-neighborly not to take care of the leaves, maybe a little inconsiderate. Personally, I don't really care to have a manicured lawn but I know some neighbors in my previous middle-class neighborhood did. They acted a bit put out if there was a leaf on their lawn. Where I live now, I don't think they care as much but then again, I no longer  have a tree. The other reason why I gathered my leaves was to compost them.

General Jinjur

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2011, 08:30:05 PM »
Leaf blowers are very common here. I don't understand it, myself. It would make sense if we were talking about a big suburban lawn, but everyone here has a wee postage stamp that could be raked in five minutes flat. Seems like a huge waste of money to use a leafblower!

Hillia

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2011, 08:36:28 PM »
Reminds me of a joke by some comedian, about how the lawn guy at house A would blow the leaves to house B, who would blow them to house C, and on down to the last guy, who would blow them all back to house A again.  The point was to keep all the lawn guys employed :-)

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camlan

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2011, 08:40:31 PM »
Some leaves, if left on grass or bushes over the winter, will damage or kill whatever they are lying on. Also, in areas with lots of trees, they can blow into the street and block storm drains. In many places, people don't have fences in their yards, so leaves blow all over the place. You could have no trees on your property and still end up with a lawn completely covered in leaves.

It's a matter of how many trees are in the area, what kind they are, how many leaves they drop and how big your yard is.

My family's always gotten along with just hand raking, but a lot of people find the leaf blowers to be faster and easier. But they are very, very loud.

And then in some neighborhoods, especially those with homeowners' associations, there are regulations about the leaves.

OP, how many leaves are you talking about? In New England, it's not uncommon to see piles of leaves like this: http://www.olympiclawn.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/fall-is-leaf-raking-time.jpg
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2011, 07:36:24 AM »
Also a function of how much snow you get, and how early.  Snow insulates the grass during the winter - if you live in an area that gets really cold, and you have a long dry spell (or a random short warm spell so the snow melts), lots of yards will have dead grass that spring.  Leaves under the snow makes clearing snow more of a pain and it doesn't insulate as well.

That said, a) we don't get much snow here, and b) I don't bother raking or blowing leaves, and we do have trees.  A few of my neighbors do, mostly the retired ones, but a lot don't.

SiotehCat

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2011, 12:24:40 PM »
I live in Northern Virginia in a rental townhome community. They use a lawn care company that comes in every couple of weeks to keep the property looking nice. They use leaf blowers.

My parents live in South Texas. They have a large yard, but they do not use a leaf blower. And in fact, I have never seen anyone in their neighborhood use a leaf blower. They just rake it up.

Shoo

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2011, 12:30:08 PM »
Leaves on the ground can become leaves in the street, blocking storm drains and creating a horrible slipping hazard for cars and bikes.  That is one reason why it's important for homeowners to rake/blow their leaves into piles and bag them up for the compost or recycler.  It's not just aesthetics.  It's safety.

camlan

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2011, 12:30:23 PM »
I live in Northern Virginia in a rental townhome community. They use a lawn care company that comes in every couple of weeks to keep the property looking nice. They use leaf blowers.

My parents live in South Texas. They have a large yard, but they do not use a leaf blower. And in fact, I have never seen anyone in their neighborhood use a leaf blower. They just rake it up.

It makes sense to me that a professional company would use the leaf blowers. They get a lot of leaves in a short time, allowing the company to service more clients.

Homeowners can wander out whenever they want and rake for a bit, they don't have to get all the leaves at once. A lot of people enjoy raking, as it is a good opportunity to enjoy some brisk fall air, get some exercise and get a chore done, all at the same time.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Larrabee

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2011, 05:03:56 PM »
Leaves on the ground can become leaves in the street, blocking storm drains and creating a horrible slipping hazard for cars and bikes.  That is one reason why it's important for homeowners to rake/blow their leaves into piles and bag them up for the compost or recycler.  It's not just aesthetics.  It's safety.


But, they don't here, and there aren't cars constantly skidding on wet leaves, although its a standing joke that the trains are always delayed due to 'leaves on the line'!

Maybe our drains are different, they don't get blocked by leaves that I'm aware of, even in very rural areas with lots of trees. 

We don't get lots of snow here as a rule, but the last three or four winters have been very severe with months of heavy snow which is unusual.  We don't tend to clear our gardens of snow either, just enough to get cars in and out and move around safely.  We use salt or grit on the roads generally.



ETA I went to visit my parents in the very leafy very green area they live in today, I kept an eye out to see what people had done with the leaves, most were just left where they were but a few lawns were cleared, maybe 1 in 20, these were the most formal looking gardens.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 05:05:31 PM by Larrabee »

dawbs

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2011, 05:43:16 PM »

Maybe our drains are different, they don't get blocked by leaves that I'm aware of, even in very rural areas with lots of trees. 


Are you sure we're talking the same thing?
Because here very rural areas don't *have* storm drains.  (because they don't have curbs and gutters.  I don't.)
We're talking this:
http://www.munciesanitary.org/clientuploads/Leaves%20on%20storm%20drain.JPG

Yarnie

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2011, 05:47:18 PM »
In our area, we rake/dump/blow leaves into piles on the street. Then the city comes along and sucks them all up. 

Growing up in Colorado, we never raked leaves, but we mainly had pine trees.  Our aspens in the corner of the yard didn't pose a huge problem.  Here in IL, the leaves get REALLY deep, so you pretty much have to do something with them.    My husband mows them up.

Larrabee

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2011, 05:59:17 PM »

Maybe our drains are different, they don't get blocked by leaves that I'm aware of, even in very rural areas with lots of trees. 


Are you sure we're talking the same thing?
Because here very rural areas don't *have* storm drains.  (because they don't have curbs and gutters.  I don't.)
We're talking this:
http://www.munciesanitary.org/clientuploads/Leaves%20on%20storm%20drain.JPG

Well, I'd call it a grid, and ours don't have the bit cut into the pavement, the water just drains down.

But yes that's the thing, every road has them pretty much, urban or rural except motorways and dirt tracks.

Here's a British one:


« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 06:01:59 PM by Larrabee »

Slartibartfast

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Re: Leaf blowing
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2011, 06:41:47 PM »
I grew up with this kind



However, now that I live in the southern US, we get a TON of rain at a time down here.  Those dinky little drains wouldn't help with more than snow runoff, so they have this kind down here:




They always creep me out a bit - the first one is plenty large enough to get a foot or a bike tire stuck in, and the second kind always makes me think of Stephen King's It.