Gardening Tips with Charlie Albone


Mulching and managing your Autumn leaves

Depending on your location, Autumn will offer up plenty of fine days in which to potter about the garden or relax in your outdoor space. You will, of course, find yourself dealing with high-than-usual amount of debris and leaf litter. In addition to wanting a tidier space, there are several very practical reasons to clear them up.

Firstly, while a thin layer of leaf litter can act as a natural mulch for your lawn, too much leaf cover can eventually kill it off by blocking sunlight and airflow. Secondly, too much debris can keep water from flowing into the soil and can increase the chance of fungus.

Whipping out the blower is the best way to ensure healthy lawns and beds ahead of Winter.

Charlie’s top tips for mulching and managing your Autumn leaves:

  1. Early Autumn is the ideal time to reduce the height of trees or to shape the canopy with a long reach pole pruner like the HTA 86.
  2. After you’re done pruning, hang on to your cuttings and any thicker branches. These are great for keeping your fireplace or fire pit going throughout Winter!
  3. If using a shredder vac, remove twigs, rocks and debris by hand before use, as these can damage the motor.
  4. To avoid blow back (when the leaves go everywhere!) keep the nozzle at a shallow angle, blow with the wind and along walls.
  5. Save those leaves! Add them to your compost heap for use in your garden next year.

Charlie’s top tools for debris management:

  • When it comes to Autumn leaf management, a leaf blower is the homeowner’s best companion. The BGA 57 Battery Blower is compact yet powerful, clearing up to three tennis courts of leaves on one charge.
  • For larger areas, use a shredder vac like the STIHL SH 86 C-E to collect the leaves at the same time, ready for mulching.
  • I like to use a shredder to reduce garden waste before adding it to my compost. Not only does it oxygenate the mulch, it increases the surface area of the mulch particles, helping to break it down faster. The compact and powerful STIHL GHE 150 Electric Shredder is bound to make short work of clippings and branches with a diameter of up to 35mm.

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