When the garden breaks out into autumnal colours, covering lawns and flower beds in warm shades from yellow to brown to red, you may inevitably wonder how many leaves you will eventually need to clear up.
Generally we associate blowers or blower-vacuums with clearing the garden of the autumn carpet of leaves, but with this kind of tool you can do much more, including in the countryside. Let's find out all the tasks that a leaf blower helps you to get done.
Blower and leaf vacuum: how they are useful for clearing the garden
Petrol engine or battery-powered blower, backpack blower or hand-held blower: regardless of the type, leaf blowers are synonymous with clearing up the garden. With the air jet you can quickly eliminate leaves from lawns, as well as from driveways, paths, steps and parking spaces. They are efficient workmates, especially if you have a large property. Clearing outdoor surfaces around the house is certainly a question of aesthetics and tidiness, but also safety, bearing in mind that leaves and rain together form a slippery layer.
Removing leaves from the lawn with a rake or blower also improves the health (and therefore appearance) of the grass. In doing so, you avoid creating a habitat favourable to pests and disease—which can attack the plants in your garden—and prevent the gradual formation of thatch, a barrier of plant material that suffocates the lawn.
For the same reasons, a blower is useful for removing grass clippings left behind by a brushcutter, or by a lawnmower without an integrated collection system, or for clearing the garden of small pruning debris at the foot of trees and hedges. A leaf blower is also handy for cleaning up pruning waste in the orchard and vineyard. Or even removing sawdust and bits of wood and bark made by a chainsaw when preparing firewood or doing DIY projects. You can use a blower to displace and pile up leaves, cut grass, twigs or sawdust, whereas with a leaf vacuum, you can suck all these materials into a collection bag.
If your blower-vacuum also has a shredder function, like the Efco SA 2500, it reduces the volume of collected green waste (by up to 1/12, in the case of an Efco vacuum). This means fewer bags of garden waste to take to the recycling centre; and if you have a composter, the already chopped waste will turn into compost faster.
Blowers and blower-vacuums (or leaf vacuums) are not equivalent tools: on the contrary, they should be used differently. You can find out here which jobs are suited to which machine: blower or vacuum — which function to use.
You can use the dried leaves piled up with your blower as mulch either in the garden—at the foot of the youngest and most delicate plants—or in the vegetable patch. If, on the other hand, the leaves are not going to be used for mulch, but need to be disposed of or composted, a blower-vacuum is the perfect helper for garden flower beds and vegetable plots alike: you can use it suck up debris precisely, without disturbing plants, flowers and vegetables with the blower’s air jet.
During those months of the year when garden lawn maintenance involves mowing, once you have finished working, a blower is useful both for cleaning your lawnmower or garden tractor, and for removing grass fragments covering the driveway, path, gazebo, garden furniture and outdoor lamps, preparing them for more thorough cleaning later on. In the countryside a blower enables you to clean your forage harvester and farm equipment.
Although clearing dead leaves is a job limited to autumn, a blower is useful all year round for keeping outdoor floors clean of dust and dirt, particularly in places where a broom cannot reach: corners, joints etc. This also applies to service areas such as garages, greenhouses or warehouses. In these cases, using a leaf vacuum cleaner enables you to clean without generating dust. Another typically seasonal use of a blower is sweeping away light snow, both from external surfaces (stairs, driveway etc.) and from car windshields and bodywork.
Which is better, a backpack blower or a hand-held model? Check out our tips for choosing the most suitable blower. Petrol engine blower or battery-powered blower? In addition to being quieter, battery-powered leaf blowers like the SAi 60 hand-held model are more sustainable: we talk about them in our article entitled battery-powered products: an eco-friendly choice.
Blower and blower-vacuum: not just for clearing the garden and countryside
With a blower you can collect olives and small fruits—such as hazelnuts, walnuts or chestnuts—by moving them into piles. In the orchard, you can use the air jet to clear away fallen fruit from the tree-row interspaces before harvesting.
If the blower is equipped with a special conversion kit, like the new Efco SA 2063 backpack blower, you also have a mistblower for applying treatments to your plants.
As we have already demonstrated, a blower is one of the key tools for taking care of the garden in all seasons and particularly in autumn: here you will find an overview of the top tools for garden care in autumn and the essentials for gardening like a pro. When combined with a high-pressure washer, a leaf blower is perfect for quickly drying outdoor surfaces, gardening equipment, outdoor furniture, play equipment and more.
If you want to ensure that your petrol-engine or battery-powered blower lasts a long time, spend the necessary time maintaining it: here is our guide on how to clean a blower.