Working with garden tools can help speed up a lot of the things we need to do. They are convenient to have around the house. Tools like garden shredders and leaf mulchers can make cleaning up a leaf covered yard a breeze and also produce lovely mulch for your garden.
To make your experience with these garden tools pleasant all the time, it pays to observe safety precautions. Being aware of potential dangers can help save us time, money and can make the job faster and more efficient. Safety is especially important when you have kids or pets who can hurt themselves unintentionally.
Here are some safety tips when it comes to operating and storing garden shredders and leaf mulchers.
When operating garden shredders and leaf mulchers
- Before plugging in your equipment, always check the outlets and the openings to make sure they’re clear of anything that might cause it to jam or malfunction.
- If your tool has attachments, make sure these are latched on properly and securely before starting.
- When operating machinery, wear safety apparel like industrial gloves, goggles to protect your eyes and apron to protect your clothes.
- Don’t wear watches and lose jewelry like a necklace or a bracelet.
- Different type of tools have different capacities. Never exceed the capacity of your garden shredder or your leaf mulcher. This will only cause your tool to breakdown and function inefficiently.
- Most garden shredders cannot handle wet leaves, so avoid feeding them to your equipment.
- Avoid feeding old and dry wood into your shredder because most shredders are unable to process it.
- Be careful when shredding twigs with a lot of knobs and bends and make sure that the ones you put in whole do not exceed the cutting diameter of your garden shredder. If you find that they do, cut the up first before throwing them in.
- Do not allow children to operate these machinery. Older children can help but you need to have an adult supervise them, and they need to be briefed on safety tips.
- Do not put your hand in to the feeders or outlets of your machine while it is running. If you want to remove something from it, switch off the unit and remove its power source first.
- When cleaning the machinery, always make sure it is switched off and unplugged from its power source.
When storing garden shredders and leaf mulchers:
- Always put your tools and equipment back in their proper places after each use.
- Choose a place that is out of reach of your children and pets.
- When storing your gas powered garden shredders for the winter, make sure to remove any remaining fuel in the fuel tank.
Tips on the Care and Maintenance of Leaf Mulchers
Leaf Mulchers are pretty durable equipment. They don’t need a lot of maintenance. But that doesn’t mean we can abuse them and not expect them to break down. The key to a long and useful life is proper use and proper maintenance. If you take care of your equipment well, then they’ll be able to take equally good care of your garden. Here are some tips on how to treat your leaf mulchers right:
- Get the right kind of equipment for your needs. The first thing you need is a leaf mulcher than can do the job. Lightweight leaf mulchers can handle leaves, grass cuttings, and twigs. But if you expect to deal with bigger branches, you might want to consider buying a chipper shredder instead. Expecting a machine to go beyond its capacity is a breakdown waiting to happen.
- Clean after each use. Keep your blades sharp and your leaf mulcher’s body spic and span by cleaning after each use. Do not let debris build up. This can cause your blades to dull, the machine to jam and leave some parts of your machine rusty. Especially make sure to clean it before you store it away for the winter.
- When cleaning your leaf mulcher, you will need to take it apart. The areas that you need to pay attention to are the funnels and the blades
- Mulch dry. Most machines are designed to handle dry matter. Avoid dumping in wet grass, twigs and other garden debris because this can cause your leaf mulcher to malfunction.
- Store away properly. Keep your mulcher stored in a cool dry place that’s not too humid. Find a space for them where children cannot access them or play with them.
- When storing for the winter, make sure it’s empty of gas. Store them in a cool, dry place that’s protected from the elements. It also helps to oil them to keep them lubricated throughout winter.
- Bring it in for service regularly. Ideally, general maintenance checks on your leaf mulcher should be performed once yearly. You can do this after your mulcher comes out from winter hibernation. Check the gas, the air filter and the blades.
- Replace the blades when you notice that the mulch produced is no longer as fine. This is usually a sign that the blades are dull.