Monday, September 03, 2012

Mulching Machines

I bought an electrical mulching (shredder) machine from Bunnings about a year ago now.

Haven't used it much because I'm pretty bad at managing my time.

And I didn't use it because I was a little peeved that I paid so much for it. $350+ it was just as expensive as a petrol driven lawn mower. Seriously, the lawn mower companies should have produced an affordable petrol mulching machine ages ago. Excuses, I'm full of them :)

I used to use my lawn mower to shred the stuff - but the problem was that the only place I could do it was on the lawn area - and it could get messy.

Anyway, these machines have to be treated with special caution as any improper use will literally be life-threatening. Its not often that you have a device which can seriously harm, maim, kill you within the blink of an eye - but yeah, mulching machines have the capacity to really screw you up (or worse, your child or loved one) for life when you are doing a rather mundane activity.

But why do it?

I do it because it is one of the best ways to turn garden waste into perfect mulch.

I have in my garden - plenty of shrubs, bushes, - Lavenders, Margurite Daisies, natives bushes, that need to be trimed back on an annual or semi annual basis. I used to simply throw them into the council green waste bin. But it was such a shame as they make the perfect ingredients for mulch.

They aren't weeds nor do they contain any virulent seeds - so they are the perfect ingredient for instant mulch. You throw them into the machine and hey presto you instantly have good stuff you can lay on your garden bed straight away without any delay.

Right now, I'm positively excited about mulching my lavenders because of the aromantic effect it will have on my garden and well-being.

Having said they I make it a point to go slowly with the shredding process. I caused the machine to jam three times by trying to stuff too much in all at once.

Some of the longer pieces have to be carefully positioned to avoid jamming it too. And it certainly helped if I tore apart the branches and fed the pieces in piecemeal rather than trying to stuff the whole lot in.

Eventually I got the hang of things - and I made sure that I pulled the plug and waited 1 minute each time I had to unjam the debris clogged inside.

So anyhow, not too bad. I think the price is a bit expensive. But overall it does its job. Just please exercise tremendous caution when using this.

1. Think carefully about what you are doing.
2. Do not put your hand inside the machine, unless the machine has totally stopped and the power supply disconnected. Even after you turn it off, the blades will still be turning and they will slice up your hand to bloody ribbons (think about that for a couple of seconds) if you put them inside.
3. Make sure its on a stable surface.
4. Make sure that no children or stupid teenagers are hanging around.
5. Make sure your wallet, phone, watch, glasses are preferably kept somewhere else or well secured and DO NOT fall inside.
6. If they fall inside, DO NOT reach in to grab them (if machine is running)
7. If in doubt of the horrors of accidents - Throw a ripe tomato inside - now, look at your hand and ponder.
8. Turn the machine off after 20 minutes to let it cool down.
9. Do not try and stuff everything into it at once. It will just jam the equipment.
10. Piecemeal is the best. Throw things in bit by bit.

Meanwhile, the weeds in my wheelie bin compost are disintegrating very nicely. I filled the new bins up with weeds a month ago, and they've settled down, compacting naturally inside. I'm waiting for more rainy days to fill them up with water.

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