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Recommended chippers for small-scale composting?

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Recommended chippers for small-scale composting? Empty Recommended chippers for small-scale composting?

Post  markqz on 10/28/2020, 1:19 pm

What's the minimum chipper I could get away with for preparing material for compost? My inputs would be grass trimmings, corn stalks, sorghum stalks, possible twigs, household scraps, new zealand spinach, and eucalyptus bark.

Some of the smaller chippers are basically weedwhackers upside down. They would probably only work on leaves, which I don't have a lot of.
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Post  OhioGardener on 10/28/2020, 2:03 pm

Wish I could offer a good suggestion, Mark, but I just haven't found one that does it all.  I have a large shredder/chipper (a very old one attached to a Troy-Bilt via the PTO, purchased in 1976), which works beautifully for tree branchs and limbs up to 3" diameter. But, it quickly gums up with things like green plants, grass clippings, or high-sap limbs, etc., and things like vines will quickly wrap around the shaft and cause a hour of work to clear. But, it has been a reliable shredder/chipper for many years on our mini-farm.

A neighbor has an Earthwise 15-Amp Corded Garden Chipper/Shredder which works great for shredding leaves, grass clippings, garden plants, etc., but it jams on twigs bigger than about 1/4".   It will probably do most of the things you mention, though.

The upside down weedwackers won't do anything but leaves, and you have to feed it very slowly. If there is a twig in the leaves it will damage the nylon string and it has be shut down, the line fixed, and started again. Not a very good investment.

You might want to visit your local Lowe's web site and check out what they have.

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Post  yolos on 10/29/2020, 1:00 am

I have four tools that I use as chippers/shredders.  One is an old Harbor Freight gas powered Chipper/Shredder.  It is gas powered and will shred the heck out of most things.  Shreds them into very small pieces.  But in my old age, I am going away from gas powered tools due to the difficulty of starting them.  But like OhioGardener, it will not shred wet or green items without clogging.  Another problem with my big high powered shredder is that it does not have a bin to catch the shredded material.  I have to lay a tarp down to keep the material all together.

I bought an additional shredder.  The Earthwise shredder.  I love it because it has a collection bin that collets the shredded material without making a mess all over the place.  Unfortunately it does not shred the material as fine as I like even putting it thru the shredder a second time.  Also, it does take a while to shred things because you do have to cram the  material down thru a hole with a plunger tool.  But I still use it the most because it is so easy to use and is also on wheels and I can roll it easily out of the storage area to where I want to shred. 

I also have a battery powered Ryobi tool that vacuums up the leaves and shreds them.  It is not real efficient but is easy to set up and is battery operated.

Also have a battery powered Ryobi lawn mower that sucks  up leaves but does not shred my thin live oak leaves into small enough pieces but it is easy to use and  set up.
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Post  markqz on 10/30/2020, 4:43 pm

Well, that's annoying. I had just decided to get the earthwise (since it wasn't too expensive and there are two recommendations here). Suddenly, they're out of stock at Lowes, Home Depot, and the Amazon page where I was just reading reviews yesterday now has a page not found message. Has it become leaf mulcher season overnight?
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Post  OhioGardener on 10/30/2020, 5:02 pm

@markqz wrote:Well, that's annoying. I had just decided to get the earthwise (since it wasn't too expensive and there are two recommendations here). Suddenly, they're out of stock at Lowes, Home Depot, and the Amazon page where I was just reading reviews yesterday now has a page not found message. Has it become leaf mulcher season overnight?

Check out Chippers Direct, the offer free shipping.

https://www.chippersdirect.com/Earthwise-GS70015-Chipper-Shredder/p16875.html

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Post  yolos on 10/30/2020, 5:36 pm

@markqz wrote:Well, that's annoying. I had just decided to get the earthwise (since it wasn't too expensive and there are two recommendations here). Suddenly, they're out of stock at Lowes, Home Depot, and the Amazon page where I was just reading reviews yesterday now has a page not found message. Has it become leaf mulcher season overnight?
Yep, in my area the leaves are just now starting to stack up.  I mowed up some leaves this last weekend.  Then Zeta brought winds and I will have to mow them up again.  But they are now starting to accumulate in my bins.
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Post  sanderson on 11/12/2020, 5:34 pm

For leaves, I found the lawn mower did the best job. I don't know about using anything from Eucalyptus trees, though. I have an Eco Shredder that I bought off Craig's List and it was good for thinner branches. But, now that I have retired from composting, I'm listing it for sale.

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Post  markqz on 11/14/2020, 3:36 pm

@sanderson wrote:For leaves, I found the lawn mower did the best job.  I don't know about using anything from Eucalyptus trees, though.  

Eucalyptus leaves are tiny and hard to collect. But once or twice a year the bark on the entire tree peels off, creating a bigger mess than most trees with regular sized leaves. Also, eucalyptus branches are brittle, and there is a more or less continual fall of those. Occasionally a 200 lb branch will come down. So if I could chip them up, I would have a fair amount of material. How plants feel about eucalyptus is another question.

This year I let the New Zealand spinach run amuck in the back yard, hoping they would out-compete the bermuda grass. When the branches dry out, they are fairly friable. I think they could be run through a wood chipper after drying. Here's a picture of part of my haul:

Recommended chippers for small-scale composting? N9t6ans
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Post  OhioGardener on 11/14/2020, 5:50 pm

@markqz wrote:Eucalyptus leaves are tiny and hard to collect. But once or twice a year the bark on the entire tree peels off, creating a bigger mess than most trees with regular sized leaves. Also, eucalyptus branches are brittle, and there is a more or less continual fall of those. Occasionally a 200 lb branch will come down. So if I could chip them up, I would have a fair amount of material. How plants feel about eucalyptus is another question.

According to the University of California, when handled properly Eucalyptus is safe for use in compost. The toxins in plants of the Eucalyptus genus are rendered harmless by the composting process, particularly if you are using a hot compost process.

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Post  sanderson on 11/21/2020, 6:59 pm

@markqz wrote:. . .
Eucalyptus leaves are tiny and hard to collect. But once or twice a year the bark on the entire tree peels off, creating a bigger mess than most trees with regular sized leaves. Also, eucalyptus branches are brittle, and there is a more or less continual fall of those. Occasionally a 200 lb branch will come down. So if I could chip them up, I would have a fair amount of material. How plants feel about eucalyptus is another question.
Yes, they are widow makers.  Whoever thought they were a good idea for California was nuts.

This year I let the New Zealand spinach run amuck in the back yard, hoping they would out-compete the bermuda grass.
Who won?

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Post  markqz on 11/21/2020, 10:36 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@markqz wrote:. . .  Occasionally a 200 lb branch will come down...

Yes, they are widow makers.  Whoever thought they were a good idea for California was nuts.


It was the robber-barons of California as they were busy building the transcontinental railroad. Their idea was that they could use fast-growing eucalyptus for the railroad ties. Unfortunately, eucalyptus splits easily in the heat (as that 200 lb branch attests). I always thought that it was unfair that we didn't get the koalas along with the eucalyptus. Apparently Australia has a ban on exporting koalas except to a few zoos. They apparently haven't been as successful restricting wallabies, which are roaming over parts of England.

@sanderson wrote:
This year I let the New Zealand spinach run amuck in the back yard, hoping they would out-compete the bermuda grass.
Who won?

I only know who lost -- me! Well, I think it may have helped a little, but the bermuda grass can recover so fast, it hardly makes a difference.
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Post  sanderson on 11/24/2020, 5:33 pm

@markqz wrote:
@sanderson wrote:
This year I let the New Zealand spinach run amuck in the back yard, hoping they would out-compete the bermuda grass.
Who won?

I only know who lost -- me! Well, I think it may have helped a little, but the bermuda grass can recover so fast, it hardly makes a difference.
Razz

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