Rather than try to blow an acre of leaves across the entire yard this year (which takes hours), I tried a new approach. I spent about two hours and made nine different piles, all over the place. Here is one example:
Then I laid out a huge tarp and chipped the leaves at each pile. Note: my aren’t really aren’t that far down into the chipper. Yikes.
The chipper pulverizes the leaves once I manage to push the leaves far enough into the chute. There’s a handy tool that allows me to do that while retaining all of my fingers! Since the leaves basically become dust, after about six armfuls the discharge clogs up. You can see my handy stick in the foreground, which I use to loosen up the compressed leaves and make room for the next round of pulverization. A 12-foot diameter pile of leaves becomes about a 4-foot diameter pile of dust.
Dragging the tarps to the gardens took some energy, and the end result is a 3″ deep layer of leaf dust that I can turn into the soil next spring. Whole leaves also ended up in there, since they continued to fall the entire time I was working!
With a rainstorm in the forecast, no relaxing was allowed! I got through 8 of the 9 leaf piles before dusk, and right as the sun set the belt on the chipper fell off. I put the tarp over the last pile and dragged the whole leaves to the garden the following weekend.