Cleanup: Roll out the chipper

As I mentioned in the last cleanup post, my holding area for material to be fed into my chipper was pretty full:

So I rolled out the chipper and set to work.


I was bagging the mulch to start, and dumped some around one of my bamboos:

I don't like the way that looks, so I'll mulch over it later with either compost, or hardwood mulch, or both. I then gave up on bagging because the bag filled up too fast.

I started with the branches, then put most of the grasses and perennial stalks that I've been cutting in. They tend to clog the hopper and send a "snow" of dust and chaff all over me, but shredding the grasses will make them break down so much faster. Plus it gives me room for more "stuff" in my holding area -- I still have the largest ornamental grasses to cut down.

I'll eventually rake this up and either use it around some plants, or just put it in the compost pile.

There's not much to talk about with the chipping. You just feed stuff in, taking care not to bog down the engine too much. If the chipper stalls while you're feeding branches into it, it will really jam up. I've had to dismantle the chute assembly (or whatever it's called) -- it's the round part with all of the bolts in it in the photo above -- and that's not fun. You really want to avoid stalling the engine, so take it slow!

Also, gloves and long sleeves are recommended, but safety goggles are required! Debris is shooting out everywhere, and you need to protect your eyes. I'd also strongly recommend earplugs, because chippers are loud.

Once the job is done, the hardest task awaits:

Getting the chipper back up the hill into the garage!

How long did it take?  1:00
Total time spent on clean-up so far this year: 8:15 (8 hours 15 minutes)


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