Autumn, fall, whichever name you prefer, we can all agree – it’s a beautiful time of the year. And while the cool crisp air of fall and the leaves changing color may be a welcomed feeling, anyone who takes care of their yard knows how quickly this can turn into hours of work in raking, sweeping, and otherwise tidying up your landscape from fallen leaves. To make the most efficient use of your hard fought landscaping time, consider adding a leaf blower to your landscaping tools.
Leaf blowers are built on a single principle: Efficiency. As stated earlier, the fall season is going to add a new regimen of raking and sweeping to your landscaping duties. Depending on your lawn, raking can take hours and, in more densely wooded neighborhoods, can be very exhausting. A leaf blower will save you both time and energy, often cutting the time it takes to clear leaves from a yard in half and will be far less physically demanding. But before you purchase any leaf blower, we’ve outlined the key features you should consider before purchasing.
When selecting your first (or next) leaf blower – you’ll want to consider what type of power source makes the most sense for your yard. There are 3-types of power sources: electric, battery and gas-powered. Electric-powered leaf blowers require an extension cord to maintain power. These blowers are typically lightweight and start with a simple switch, but keep in mind that you’ll have an extension cord running through your yard as you do your work. This can lead to significant time and reach restrictions depending on the size of your yard. Like electric-powered blowers, battery-powered blowers are gas-free. But unlike electric models, they are cord-free and require a rechargeable battery to run. These can be effective for larger applications where extension cords will not reach or for condos and other locations that may have limited storage for fuel and engine maintenance equipment. Lastly, there is the gas-powered blower. Gas-powered blowers are also cordless, and require a proper mix of gas and oil (there are many pre-mixed fuels available as well for more convenience). They allow for more flexibility and longer run time along with more power, making it easy to move leaves and other debris.
Now that you know a little more about the different types of power sources available, it is important to consider your yard. What are you going to need your leaf blower for? What’s the total square footage of the area? Are you in a dense, wooded area, where it would require a lot of power and effort to clear the leaves and brush? Or do you have a smaller lawn that requires less effort? Are you considering a new blower for your landscape business? Then you’ll definitely want to look for a stronger, higher-powered gas-engine blower. Here are a few options: the ECHO PB-250LN, a lightweight, handheld gas powered blower equipped with a low noise engine, is perfect for taking on a lightly wooded lawn or clearing yard debris from walks or driveways. The ECHO PB-580 is a backpack blower with much more power and is great for even the toughest commercial jobs and certainly powerful enough to clear any lawn debris from any residential landscape or heavily wooded lawns.
Backpack vs. Handheld
There are two main styles of leaf blowers – backpack and handheld. As we mentioned before, choosing between the two really does depend on the level of yard work you expect to have. For smaller yards, a handheld blower may make more sense – since it won’t require as much power to remove all of the debris. A handheld blower includes a 2-stroke engine, curved pipe for better control and a top handle for ease of use. For larger yards and for professional users, the backpack blower is the right choice. In addition, many models of backpack blowers provide a choice between a tube-mounted trigger throttle or a hip-mounted throttle. This topic was discussed in our last blog post. The backpack blower offers full, wide-angle tube rotation for easy operator mobility, padded backrest and shoulder straps – so that you can tackle any yard work with ease.
Be sure you have the proper outdoor power equipment to handle any and all yard work. Be sure to check out ECHO’s National Sales Event and save big this fall on both the PB-250LN handheld blower and the PB-580H or PB-580T backpack blower with ECHO Instant Rebates (at participating dealers only) now through November 30, 2016.
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By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
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