shredder for garden waste (long stalks)

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by johnnyjumpup, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. johnnyjumpup

    johnnyjumpup Active Member

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    Hi,

    I hope you can help me with this question. I would like to buy a shredder that is capable of shredding/chopping up long stalks of spent flower stems (3-4 foot hesperis, lupins, iris, forgetmenots, summer phlox, goldenrod, peonies, shasta daisies (all sorts of daisies), rudbeckia and helenium, astrantia, etc., etc. If it would chop up soft prunings (water shoots on apples, etc) that would be a bonus.

    I remember reading an article by Des Kennedy where he was lusting after an industrial sized shredder and I can see the attraction. I have been saving up and while I don't think I can have the industrial sized one, I would like one that is safe (with proper safety precautions taken), strong, efficient and, if possible, portable so I can drag it back up the hill to winter over in the garage. I am willing to build it its own house though down at the back. Any tips as to size of engine? Grinding, chopping, whippersnapping?

    We have a mulching lawnmower that does not do a very good job on long stalks like I describe. It sort of gnaws off the leaves and leaves the stalks.

    Thank you
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Just about any shredder should do the job well. "Industrial" size shredders are made to cope with extra thick branches, which are far more difficult than long thin items.
     
  3. cowboy

    cowboy Active Member

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    A good set of bypass pruners should do the trick. It of course is more time consuming but works well.
     
  4. cowboy

    cowboy Active Member

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    A good set of bypass pruners should do the job you are asking. Much cheaper, not as noisy and easier to store. This is all I have used for many years, even for woody prunings.
     
  5. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    My dad actually set up a shredder station. He had a fairly big thing that took about 2'' diameter. He had a box the shredded stuff went into and from there to the compost. This however involved taking the stuff to the shredder. I bought one that was larger than average and initialy I had no problems dragging it to the spot but as I aged it became a pain so now it sits in one spot and the stuff goes to it with the help of others.

    Liz.
     
  6. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    There are a number of relatively cheap electric shredders out there, most large hardware outlets carry them. Gutless for anything larger than an inch or two in diameter, but perfectly adequate for the job you describe.
     
  7. johnnyjumpup

    johnnyjumpup Active Member

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    Thank you everyone for the input.

    I have been using my Fiskar hedge shears for years but it takes me hours, many times a season. I have a half acre of increasingly less lawn and A LOT of cottage style (read: easy to grow and fairly rampant) perennials, shrubs, bulbs, etc. that I have to cut back sooner or later during the year. Life being perfect, I would be on top of this task weekly, but... I am getting a bit long in the tooth and have been lusting after a shredder for years. The thought of having a small shredder that I could use whenever I want sounds like heaven.

    I am seriously considering the Flowtron LE-900, a sort of whippersnipper in a barrel that looks efficient, easy to clean, portable, relatively safe, with easy maintenance and not too expensive AND I can order it on line. There are none locally. The fact that it is electric and does not have a pull start is a huge plus in my books. And no blades, knives to sharpen. I don't plan to shred anything bigger than apple sprouts, if that. Please let it do the goldenrod, the hesperis, phlox, lupins, columbines, etc., etc.

    I like to think of my garden as abundant but some have mouthed the words 'out of control'. Yes, well, hope springs eternal, there is always next year and perhaps this will help. I hope the smaller shreds will compost faster than the current slow pace.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. WillandLynn

    WillandLynn Member

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    Hi!
     

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  9. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    I have had a shredder I bought from Canadian Tire for three years now and it does every thing I need it to do. It will easily cut up 1" branches and devours small stuff. When the blades get dull it does tend to clog up but it is easy to clean and the blades are reversable having two cutting edges. It look like they could be sharpened easily enough much like a chisel. It's driven by an electric motor that kicks out when it does jam, usually when forced it's to cut too fast. I paid under $200 dollars around $160 on sale and I think it"s worth it, but nothing like the bigger gas driven machines you see around. Any branches that don't fit in the shredder I burn in my fireplace over winter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  10. infinidox

    infinidox Member

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    Anyone know of smaller, perhaps hand-run, shredders that could be used on the smaller garden/kitchen waste? It'd be nice to cut the decomposition time down a month or two.
     
  11. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I don't know if any one has access to the old chaff cutters that were mounted on benches and were turned by hand to cut wheat stubble. They would work for perennial type mterial but not tree type waste.

    Liz
     
  12. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    I'am not sure but maybe you could look into modifying a kitchen garberator some how. Just a thought.
     
  13. johnnyjumpup

    johnnyjumpup Active Member

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    Thank you for all your input. I am pleased to report that I now have a Flowtron LE 900that works just fine on fresh cut and dry flower stalks like lupins, hesperis, comfrey, columbines, etc. It works best to feed the flower end first and on an angle and let it munch down the thicker ends last. I set it on coarse and it mulches it up very well. The odd short unmulched bits that drop through are good for aeration in the compost pile. I am really pleased with it. It is plastic with a wide base so light enough to move easily and stable as well.
     

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