Fine Gardeners Blog

Raking Leaves or Leaf Blowers?

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fine Gardeners, Newton, Brookline, Needham, MAWow, if this isn't a hot topic! No matter where you live, or how much you like your neighbors, the minute a neighbor fires up a noisy leaf blower, you're at their mercy and have to deal with the loud noise and air pollution.

Still, leaf blowers are commonly seen as the simpler, faster option when it comes to gathering leaves.

But are they really more efficient than raking?...

Leaf Blowers Are Noisy

The high pitched whine from a leaf blower is known to be damaging to your ears. It's so loud that many choose to wear sound-deadening ear protection whenever they're operating a leaf blower.

The fact is leaf blowers are so noisy that ordinances have been passed in many cities and towns around Massachusetts limiting both the decibel rating and time of day that use of a leaf blower is allowed — frustrating many landscapers!

Some even go so far as to publish a list of allowable leaf blowers, mandating which brands and models can or cannot be used within city limits.

Beyond the noise pollution, you also need to consider the air pollution created when using a leaf blower.

In one year's time, that little leaf blower engine you hear buzzing up the street pumps out as much smog-forming pollution as 80 cars, each driven 12,500 miles.

Most leaf blowers are powered by a 2-cycle oil-burning gas motor. This type of motor is required to allow the high rpm which generates the high velocity air that blows the leaves away.

In addition to blowing leaves, there is a considerable amount of trash, dust, dirt and other allergens that are sent airborne as a result of using a leaf blower. This could greatly affect those susceptible to respiratory problems (such as asthma).

And don't forget the smoky exhaust. Leaf blowers do actually burn oil as it's mixed with the gas.

Leaf Blowers Alone Don't Get Rid Of Leaves

Blowing leaves and grass trimmings away from your property isn't necessarily taking care of the ultimate problem: disposing of all those leaves.

You see, you can use a leaf blower to gather all of the leaves into piles, making it easier for you to pick up and dispose of them. Or, you can use a leaf blower to simply blow leaves from your property to somewhere else. Many do the latter.

Unless you pick up (or rake up) the leaves after you've blown them into a pile, then you're simply redistributing the leaves, rather than eliminating them. Leaves that are randomly blown away also tend to find their way down the storm sewer — causing water backups, flooded basements, and all sorts of grief for the Public Works Dept.

The Best Thing About Leaf Blowers

Of course there are some good reasons to use a leaf blower. They are faster, easier, and require less effort than raking does in open areas.

Unfortunately, most leaf blowers are used improperly from the get-go.

Leaf blowers are great for blowing grass clippings off your sidewalks and driveway and back into your lawn. Sending freshly cut grass clippings back into your lawn is actually good for your lawn. The hand held rechargeable blowers work great for this task.

Is Leaf Blowing Faster Than Raking?

I don't know, you tell me...

Every situation is different. It makes sense to use a leaf blower in larger open areas where blower are their most efficient. In small areas where there is really no where to blow them into a pile because there are so many obstacles, it makes more sense to rake.

In one 3-phase test, comparing a well-muscled leaf blower to a diminutive grandmother with a rake, the rake and broom were as fast as the leaf blower.

For information on fall cleanups using hand-tools, contact Paul Marini at Fine Gardeners.

Household Tips Guide

Fine Gardeners Are Different From Conventional Landscape Companies

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Fine Gardeners, Brookline, Needham, Newton, MAWhat makes fine gardeners different from conventional landscape companies?

What is fine gardening?

Fine Gardeners have a high level of gardening practices which are horticulturally based. It requires experience, science, and artistic sensibilities. The skills include: selective pruning, extensive plant knowledge and care of shrubs, trees, perennials, annuals, and weeds. And, Fine Gardeners also have to be familiar with common pests and diseases.

Not to disparage conventional landscape companies, but....

  • Conventional landscapers are better suited for more basic, low plant density landscape settings. Fine gardening companies are needed for more complex, high-plant density landscape settings.

Fine Gardeners

  • Focus on all things plant-related using appropriate horticultural practices for each task
  • High level care of plantings with skilled gardeners and appropriate supervision
  • Utilize very basic hand tools
  • Tend to be small companies with a close personal/business relationship with the client
  • High attention to detail and can resolve issues at each visit
  • Cater to the client's needs
Pruning and trimming trees:

Fine Gardeners Primarily hand prune trees using selective pruning techniques. First we identify the tree or shrub in order to enhance the plants natural form. Aspects of tree pruning include: structural pruning, corrective, thinning, and reduction. Specialty Pruning includes topiaries and espaliers.

Weeding:

Our attitude is that weeding is part of the job. We have horticulturists working on site who can identify plants and weeds in case there is a question. Employees are trained to ask first. "When in doubt, don't pull it out." Pre emergent herbicides are sometimes used for problem areas, especially where no mulch is used.

Lawn Maintenance:

Most fine gardening companies don't do lawn maintenance. The few that do will mow weekly as long as it is needed and only apply treatments as needed. If a problem exists, we will take the necessary measures to resolve it. Preventative measures are never a good idea. People shouldn't take antibiotics and other meds if they are not sick. Your lawn is no different. A more holistic approach is better for your lawn and the environment.

Fine Gardeners are used to working on their knees, sometimes your hands are the best tools! For more information on gardening and garden maintenance, contact Fine Gardeners.

Fine Gardeners Enhancing Gardens

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Friday, April 21, 2017

Fine Gardners, Brookline, MAWelcome to the Marini Fine Gardeners blog! Here you will find out about the latest in container gardening, garden and lawn maintenance, unique garden designs and tree pruning for ornamentals.

At Fine Gardeners, we cater to the unique needs and desires of our discerning clients in Brookline, Needham and Newton. From container gardens to unique garden designs, we pay close attention to detail that this sets us apart from a more traditional “landscaper.” We consider it an honor to work on your property so we treat it with the respect and care that it deserves. We know that each garden is as unique as its owner so never take a cookie-cutter approach.

We can help you create a yard that will be the envy of the neighborhood, bursting with colors with natural and native plants that thrive in our climate and region. We have the expertise and the knowledge to make your home, garden and patio beautiful. We are happy to work with you and share with you our extensive knowledge to make your garden an oasis. We will be posting regularly so please check back in. For more information, contact Fine Gardeners. Happy Spring.


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