Most homeowners enjoy working in their yards on a cool, crisp autumn day. But not many like the blisters and backaches that come with fall yard cleanup.
"You should remove leaves and debris whenever they cover more than one-third of the lawn, or when you can't see the top half of the grass blades," says Bob Vila, America's favorite home improvement guru. "Oak and black walnut leaves contain the most acid, and therefore are more likely to harm your lawn."
Vila points out that burning leaves, twigs and other yard debris is banned in most areas. Many landfills now refuse to accept yard waste. Private disposal companies or community pick-up programs are still available to some homeowners. However, these services usually impose limits on the volume of yard waste, and branches must be bundled separately.
Other alternatives are to use shredded leaves, wood chips and pine cones as mulch for trees, shrubbery and flower beds. Leaves and yard debris also can be added to a compost pile along with grass clippings, plant stalks, hedge trimmings, and other organic material. Reducing yard debris into mulch speeds up the composting process.
"Fortunately, a yard vacuum can reduce the time and labor of fall cleanup chores," Vila says. "For example, the Craftsman 4-in-1 Yard Vacuum works as a vacuum, shredder, chipper and blower."
The mobile yard vac cleans a 22-in. swath with powerful suction up to 1,200 cu. ft. of air per minute. It pulls up and shreds leaves, pine cones, maple seeds, berries and other debris from both grass and hard surfaces, such as patios. The debris is pulverized into an 8-to-1 ratio of fine mulch, and is blown into a rear bag with two-bushel capacity. This means you'll end up with one bag of yard waste instead of eight.
The mobile yard vac's blower attachment is great for clearing leaves from flower beds and shrubbery, and quickly blows grass clipping from drives and walkways. An on-board chipper chute can reduce branches up to 1 1/2 in. diameter into fine mulch. The yard vac rolls along easily on adjustable, ball-bearing wheels.
Like many home projects, you can cut yard cleanup chores down to size with innovative tools, such as a yard vacuum, Vila says.
Bob Vila, who is celebrating 21 years in television, is the producer and host of "Bob Vila's Home Again," sponsored by Sears. He is a spokesperson for Craftsman tools and appears regularly on CBS "This Morning."
Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of nearly $40 billion. The company serves families throughout the country through approximately 860 department stores, more than 2,100 specialized retail locations, and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company's Web site, http://www.sears.com/ .NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000921/NYFNSR11
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SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck & Company
Contact: Mike Mangan of MKM Communications, 847-515-3436, for Sears,
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