Whatever work you carry out in the garden, it seems you can’t avoid creating a pile of green waste. Why not get a garden shredder or chipper and turn that green waste into something useful?
Chippings are produced from thicker stemmed material being passed through a wood chipper. As the material is fed into the machine, sharp blades cut the material across the grain of the wood to produce chips. Wood chip is not really suitable for composting as it takes to long to decompose but it can be used as a mulch around plants and as a ground covering in play areas and on paths.
Shredded garden waste.
A garden shredder works in a different way to a chipper. Rather than cutting across the grain of the material, a garden shredder will cut and crush the material along the grain. This is essential in helping the material to rot quickly. Shredded material can be mixed into the compost bin to further decompose. It can also be spread on the surface of beds and borders as a mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
Compost is decomposed material ideal for digging into flower and vegetable beds. It’s role is to add nutrients to the soil to aid the healthy growth of plants, shrubs and vegetables. Compost can be created from kitchen waste such as vegetable scraps, tea bags, egg shells and from garden waste that has been processed with a shredder.
Shredder, chipper or both?
It all depends on what material you will be recycling and what you want to achieve with the processed material. If you have mainly leaves, twigs and hedge cuttings and you want to make compost, then a dedicated garden shredder will suffice. Some of the better electrically powered shredders will handle branches up to around 35-40 mm in diameter. Always check the maximum diameter of waste the shredder is able to process to ensure it’s suitable for your needs.
If you’re looking for a good value machine to shred the majority of garden waste, there is a range here worth looking at.
Quiet electric garden shredders
Many manufacturers seem intent on keeping your neighbours happy by producing garden shredders that operate a reduced noise levels.
Atco electric shredders are renowned for quiet operation whilst shredding material up to 35mm in diameter. A reverse feature is also included. Also worth considering are the Bosch range.
Mountfield make a ‘quiet’ electric shredder capable of shredding material up to 40mm in diameter. This machine also incorporates a reverse function to clear blockages – a useful facility not found on many cheap shredders.
If you want to process larger woody material for use as a ground covering, then a chipper may be best option. Some machines combine both a chipper and shredder, usually as petrol powered units.
Masport are a well respected brand for many types of garden machinery and this model combines both chipper and shredder capabilities.
The Allen Mighty Mac is another popular petrol powered shredder/chipper combination machine which will chip branches up to 75mm in diameter and shred brushwood. Two engines are offered – a 6hp and a 10hp.
Heavy duty garden shredders.
There are dedicated shredders that can handle thicker material allowing you to compost all of your garden waste. Eliet shredders are well known for the fine shredded material produced from all types of garden waste some Eliet models are capable of shredding branches up to 50mm in diameter. For serious shredding, be sure to investigate the Eliet Major Pro.