Autumn announces it presence with a mists and a morning chill, trees and plants are heading towards dormancy. But the sun is still kind enough to shine and give the gardener a chance to tidy up before winter approaches. Yes, it's that time of year when we trim and prune and cut away - but it helps to have the right tools for the job.

A good garden shredder is a remarkably beneficial item of equipment to have in your gardening arsenal. They greatly reduce waste materials to a more manageable shape and enable the gardener to clear up and clear waste away while not having to ignite polluting fires or have to make countless trips to a dump with branches sticking out of the boot. Nevertheless, the serious appeal of a garden shredder is what it enables you to create with that waste. The chipped waste material can be a welcome addition to your compost, adding carbon loaded bulk that is hard to come by in useful quantities anywhere else, and you can never have sufficient home made compost! The chips can be used to create paths round the veg garden or plot. It's also possible to utilize them to provide a water retentive mulch and also to defend soil from erosion from wind and rain on your actual flower and veg beds, but except in cases where the plants are ericaceous, it is good practice to place the prunnings to one side for around a month to enable any acidity to leach away prior to application. You can also put your garden shredder to work chewing up those tough sprout stalks that never break down in the compost heap. There are two different kinds of shredder available on the market.

A rapid garden shredder, or impact shredders as they are also called, are light-weight and generally speaking the less costly choice. These types operate using a spinning circular blade, this tends to make them pretty noisy to work with, donning ear-defenders is a really good idea if you go for this type. It's most likely that at some time you will have to buy a new blade, consequently choosing a model from a established maker is advisable to make certain spares continue to be available. Impact or rapid garden shredders work better for small prunnings and leaves. If the most of your garden waste comes from the hedge trimmer well then this is in all likelihood the best type of shredder for your needs.

Quiet garden shredders, as the title hints, are considerably less noisy as compared with impact shredders. The majority of these essentially crush branches and twigs by simply drawing it in using a gear wheel and this grinds up against a robust metal sheet. Most of these shredders are typically more powerful and sturdy and are undoubtedly more dear, although it is less likely that you will have to replace components as there are no blades to blunt. Quiet shredders are best suited thicker, woody trimmings and have the ability to shred branches with diameters of up to four and a half centimetres. A great many come with collection bins and possess some sort of self-feed function. If you often prune back larger trees and shrubs then this model is probably the best option for your requirements.

Just as with all horticultural devices, it is essential to pay attention to a couple of simple safety protocols when using a garden shredder. At all times make certain you have a pair of long lasting heavy-duty gloves and of course don't stick hands down the neck of the feeder, even the thought makes me wince! If using a rapid shredder you will most definitely want to use ear-defenders to guard your hearing, although this is also a good move with both types to prevent flying waste stabbing you in the ear. For the same reason, you have to always wear safety goggles. Be aware that seasoned, brittle wood is more likely to fly therefore aim to shred garden trimmings straight away following cutting. It is generally better to feed the stout end of a branch through to begin with. Always make sure that gravel and other obstructions do not find their way into your shredder.

Use wood chip to make attractive paths

Why not use your shredded material to make attractive wood chip paths in the vegetable garden?