As Amy has noted previously, the Ranters have become … not inundated, but certainly in steady receipt of a trickle of offers from various garden-related vendors. When Troy-Bilt contacted us, none of the others could use anything, but, as the perpetual newbie of the group, I found that some small, electric implements might come in handy on the GWI property.
So, here I am with an electric leaf blower/vacuum/shredder. I was so relieved to find out that I wasn’t the only garden blogger taking freebies to test and write about; during our Austin meet-up I found that several others had received similar equipment. Indeed, Carol/May Dreams Gardens and I will be comparing and contrasting cultivators at a future date.
The thing is, I am the perfect person to test this stuff. If I can make something work, anyone can. Take this leaf thingie. Who would need a leaf thingie in the spring, you may ask. Answer: A person who did nothing about their leaves in the fall, and whose leaves have now become a solid, half baked/half-soggy mat covering everything, including some spring bulbs desperately trying to struggle through to the sun. I’m thinking a small leaf vacuum that can suck this mess up might be well worth recommending. And did I mention that there is also a good amount of roof debris (mainly small pieces of wood) from a late fall tear-off?
It was easy to put together, and required no tools like screwdrivers: a plus. I was disconcerted to find that it needed to be plugged in all the time, but that turned out not to be a big deal. You twist on the vacuum attachments, sling the bag over your shoulder and let ’er rip. At first I thought it was clogging, but I found that if you shake the bag once in a while to clear the intake nozzle, it’s fine. I was surprised at how much roof debris it happily ate up, as well as making relatively quick work of the chunks of leaf matting. The bag is not huge, so it does have to be emptied quite often. And it’s noisy—not for early morning use.
So that’s it. I liked this because it sucked away the leaves without also ripping out my ground cover (I have no grass), as rakes always and invariably do, no matter how gingerly I apply them. It also created 3 bags of nicely shredded leaves that I can now throw into my new composter.
My complaint? It was still work. I felt very tired afterwards. When Troy-Bilt makes the leaf-processing robot or the magic leaf-disappearing garden wand, I will be happy—HAPPY—to test them out. Just give me a call.Posted by Elizabeth Licata on April 9, 2008 at 5:00 am, in the category Taking Your Gardening Dollar.