Hedge trimming, tidying up the vegetable garden, clearing up fallen leaves…all of these garden duties have a common theme – you are left with more than you started with.
Whether it’s a pile of leaves, hedge clippings or a mix of everything from fallen branches to kitchen waste, you will want to dispose of this garden debris in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible.
A trip to the local tip may not be the most appealing of outings every time you do a bit of gardening and simply filling up the brown wheelie bin is, simply put, a ‘waste of your garden waste’!
If processed properly, mulched leaves and branches will make excellent compost after approximately 12 months, saving you money by not spending your hard-earned cash on the bagged offerings from garden centres.
To turn your garden waste into compost, you need to be looking, first and foremost, at garden shredders and chippers.
There are many garden shredders for sale in the UK, some of which are far better than others. You need to be careful when deciding which machine is most suitable for your requirements, and remember that the cheapest shredder is not necessarily the best buy!
Have a think about how much waste you will be processing in a year, what type of waste it is and how often you are likely to use a garden shredder. The size of your plot will also influence your decision as will the amount of trees and shrubs you have that need constant attention.
If your garden is small to medium in size, a town or suburban garden perhaps, you will probably be perfectly well served by purchasing an electric garden shredder.
Electric shredders are by far the best tool for the majority of homeowners due to their light weight, ease of use and low pollution levels. They come in a variety of shapes and guises but can normally be narrowed down into two different types, drum or quiet garden shredders and the more universal impact garden shredder.
The differences between the two designs are quite easy to explain: the quiet version works on a crushing principle, with a vertical rotating wheel or drum that has hardened raised ridges working against a flat plate, the wheel gripping and pulling the waste product into the mechanism and crushing it against the flat plate with the raised edges cutting into the waste material.
An impact garden shredder works in a more aggressive manner, with a disc or cassette, normally set at about 45°, equipped with 2 – 3 sharp blades, spinning at very high speed, using brute force to cut into the material being fed down the delivery chute.
It may seem obvious, but the impact shredder is a noisier machine when compared to the quiet shredder. The advantage of the noisy approach is in the materials that can be processed by an impact shredder; loose leaves and green growth are accommodated as well as branches and more woody garden waste.
The quiet garden shredder, however, is not so well suited to the processing of loose or green waste, primarily because the crush and cut mechanism has virtually no effect on something that is already flat or has a high moisture content, such as loose leaves or fresh Brussels sprout stalks for instance. On the other hand, if you regularly need to dispose of lots of fibrous, woody material a quiet or silent shredder will be ideal, doubly so if you have lots of easily upset neighbours!
For a long time at LawnMowers Direct we have felt that the Bosch garden shredders have been at the very top of the market, offering an unbeatable combination of value, performance and reliability, not found in many of the cheap products available online.
A less fashionable but no less reliable choice is the Flymo garden shredder, exceptionally good value for a machine offering performance normally found at a higher cost.
If you have a large garden where you need to manoeuvre your shredding machine away from an electrical power source, a petrol garden shredder is the way to go. Providing the flexibility that a mains powered machine cannot match, petrol shredders are more powerful with greater throughput rates and durability.
The down side of this extra power and flexibility is the heavier weight that comes with a petrol machine, not to mention the extra emissions it will produce, both in noise and chemical pollutants.
That said, one of the very best petrol garden shredders available today is made by Belgian company Eliet, who manufacture a range of machinery from commercial chippers, heavy-duty garden shredders and smaller machines designed for domestic use. The Eliet Primo and Eliet Maestro fall into the latter category, and, depending on the size of your garden, are both superb pieces of equipment delivering the best possible mulching results to make high quality compost.
An exception to the ruling of electric shredders not offering the same performance as larger, more expensive petrol machines comes in the form of the Eliet Neo and Eliet Neo2. Producing phenomenal results from an electrical power supply, both of these tools will outperform many similarly-sized petrol machines. However, you will need to dig deep into your pockets if you want one – they are nearly twice as expensive as some of the best mains powered alternatives available!
If you are at all unsure which garden shredder will suit your needs in the best way possible, please call us at LawnMowers Direct on tel. 01245 383565. One of our trained sales team will be happy to advise you of the best machine for your money. Stay in touch over the coming weeks; we’ll be taking a closer look at domestic chainsaws and how to use a chainsaw safely about your property.