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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Sep 2011
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    5
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    Kubota M4800SUD

    Default Collecting leaves/grass for large compost pile

    I will be needing to collect some green material for a large compost pile to begin this fall. I am mulling over my options for the grass collection.

    One option would be to cut the areas to be mowed with the small rider or brushhog then come back and clean them up with a sweeper. However, the sweepers I'm seeing are either small, low capacity, and likely not very durable (i.e. suburban lawn work-types) or enormous (i.e. golf course maintenance) at $8,000+. Is there something in between that I should be considering? (Also, I've heard it said that sweepers are hard on the turf.)

    Then there are the motorized vacuums, Cyclone Rakes / Trac-Vacs and the like. Problem here is that I have an old, junky rider that works but that I don't really want to invest a lot of $$ mating up to one of these products. If I get one of these, I am probably in for a new rider as well, not something I really want to buy right now. What about a PTO-driver medium-duty vacuum for work a little bigger than the suburban lawnscape - does such a thing exist?

    Lastly, I am wondering if I should just consider a low-end bailing setup. I have a larger field (15 acres) in the back of the property which I am considering developing for hay next year, I am wondering if just bailing the clippings from the smaller areas that I mow would make sense? Obviously, cutting and bailing around the house probably wouldn't be feasible.

    How have some of the rest of you solved this problem, and what did you decide worked out best for you?

  2. #2
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    4,021
    Location
    SC (Upstate) & NC (Piedmont)
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    NH TN 55, Kubota B2320 & RTV 900, Bad Boy Outlaw 61" ZTR

    Default Re: Collecting leaves/grass for large compost pile

    Quote Originally Posted by coreystinson View Post
    What about a PTO-driver medium-duty vacuum for work a little bigger than the suburban lawnscape - does such a thing exist?
    They exist, but are quite pricey:Yard Vacuum - Commercial Gas Powered - PTO Powered Leaf Vacuums - Lawn Vacuum - Lawn Sweeper

    Steve


    PS: You could substitute labor for capital. Windrow your clippings and leaves with your riding mower, rake the windrows on to a large tarp, and drag the tarp to the compost pile.

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Sep 2011
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    Kubota M4800SUD

    Default Re: Collecting leaves/grass for large compost pile

    I am wondering if I should just buy a good, used small kubota tractor with a belly mower for finshing work-type mowing then consider a tow-behind vacuum attachment of the Cyclone Rake-variety to catch the grass.

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    5
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    Kubota M4800SUD

    Default Re: Collecting leaves/grass for large compost pile

    Steve, thank you, I was just looking at that page as well. As I'm sure you guessed, all of those catching options are outside of my budget and practical ability to use to their deserved potential.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    122
    Location
    North of Goderich, Ontario, Canada.
    Tractor
    Kubota L35 TLB

    Default Re: Collecting leaves/grass for large compost pile

    We do leaf collection in the fall and compost most at our home. I have a pile about 100'x 25' by 8' tall. I mix it using my loader and manure forks and when it's ready I use it for filling in low lawn spots and flower beds. We also put some grass in it but not much. We use a Walker mower for leaf collection, leaf blowers, 16hp leaf loader mounted to the front of my truck which blows into a wooden box on the flatbed truck. Buying equipment just for home composting might be an expensive hobby. I buy used equipment at auction, that would likely be your best option, new would be a killer $ wise.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    102
    Location
    NB, Canada
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520

    Default Re: Collecting leaves/grass for large compost pile

    If you need a lot of material, why not do curbside pickup in the nearest neighborhood that people put stuff out (assuming that isn't illlegal in your area). Lots of people put bagged grass clippings and leaves out in the fall. No guarantees that it is the cleanest stuff, but might fit your needs.

    good luck

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