Why is it in your best interest to shred your plants and how do you do it?
If you’re redesigning your garden, want to freshen it up for spring or get rid of dead leaves and twigs in the fall, you’ll probably end up with some plant waste and need to find a way to dispose of it.
Instead of collecting them and taking them to a recycling center, you might be able to shred them and use them in your garden.
But what equipment should you use? And what are the benefits of shredding plants yourself?
Table of Contents
- 1 5 good reasons to shred “your” plants ?
- 2 How to shred plants correctly ?
- 3 Safety instructions
- 4 Be aware of regulations
5 good reasons to shred “your” plants ?
1/ To make good compost!
The first advantage of shredding your plants is that you can use the shredded material to make compost.
Thanks to this, you can make your soil more fertile, which can be useful if you have a vegetable garden or flower beds.
If it takes time to make a good compost, you can nevertheless save money and especially benefit from a natural fertilizer without any chemical product.
2/ To mulch
Mulching the soil around your plants will protect them and keep them warm.
For this, we generally use straw or wood shavings, but you can also use the shredded material obtained from the plants you have put through the shredder.
3/ To make bedding
After drying your shredded material, you can use it as bedding for your pets, for example for rabbits or guinea pigs, and this again will save you money.
4/ For landscaping your garden
If your shredded material is not too fine and you have a lot of it, you can use it to landscape your garden, for example by creating paths between flowerbeds, or to cover the soil of the flowerbeds and give them a more aesthetic look.
5/ For the planet, and to reduce your environmental impact
Finally, shredding your plants allows you to reduce the ecological and environmental impact.
Indeed, you don’t have to bring them to the waste disposal center anymore and reduce the transportation time, but moreover, you won’t need chemicals to feed your plants and help them grow.
How to shred plants correctly ?
What tools do you need?
Shredding plants is simple: you need a good shredder.
There are a lot of them, some more powerful than others, and at prices ranging from 200 euros to several thousand euros.
The important thing when buying one is to identify your needs and buy a device accordingly.
You should know that there are thermal and electric shredders, the former being made for professional or intensive use, as they are more robust and much more powerful, while the latter are twice as weak, but still sufficient for occasional and domestic use.
Nevertheless, if you don’t have a shredder or you don’t want to buy one, you can turn to renting shredding equipment. You can find a large number of tools online and in rental stores that can be used not only for shredding, but also for maintaining your garden.
What kind of plants can be shredded?
Depending on the power of the shredder, you will be able to shred almost any type of vegetation, starting with dead flowers, leaves, twigs, dry vegetation and green wood.
However, you should not try to shred hardened wood that is thicker than 0.3 cm, or 0.5 cm for the most powerful shredders, as this will damage the machine’s blades and mechanisms. If you need to shred very large branches and pieces of wood, remember to cut them beforehand, or call in professionals who will have much more suitable equipment.
When to shred the plants?
In autumn as well as in spring, when you trim your trees, prune your hedges and shrubs, but also get rid of dead leaves and plants before winter arrives. These are probably the seasons when you will produce the most plant waste and therefore need a shredder the most.
The most important thing is to stay safe. When using a shredder, it is important to follow the instructions in the user’s manual provided at the time of purchase, but also to maintain and clean your machine after each use and to check that nothing can block the mechanisms before use.
In addition, in order to ensure your own safety to the maximum, you should wear adequate work clothes and protect your eyes with protective glasses, as well as your hands with gardening or work gloves.
Be aware of regulations
Because shredders are relatively noisy machines, they may be subject to operating regulations, so you may not be able to use them on any given day or at any given time. To find out more, you can contact your local town hall.