Written by Dale Richardson - Updated: June 23, 2023
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Okay – I promise, I’m going to handle this with dignity and minimal excitement. Garden shredders are just so freaking cool, though! Okay, I’m done. I promise. With that out of the way, today’s topic of discussion is whether or not garden shredders are worth it. While you can likely tell what my answer is, the truth of the matter is that it boils down to what you need.
Are garden shredders worth it? For the right person – absolutely. They are fantastic for specific uses, though some people will find little-to-no use in a garden shredder.
There’s a lot to discuss today, so let’s just dive right in, shall we?
Let’s start with the simple stuff so the uninitiated amongst us can catch up and understand why I’m so in love with these things.
Garden shredders pretty much do what their name implies – they shred stuff, from your garden. Think of it as an eco-friendly trash bin. Anything that you don’t want in the garden goes in the shredder (assuming it’s organic matter, that is). You can plop everything from prunings and leaves to small branches into most shredders, though your mileage will vary based upon the brand.
Once you’ve blended this up into a garden smoothie, you’ll find that the trimmings make for fantastic mulch and compost. Of course, that’s because that’s kinda the whole deal of garden shredders – they take refuse and make it useful. And here we’re all about sustainability and making use of “trash.”
And now it’s time for a good, old fashioned pros and cons list. Let’s get into it!
Okay – there’s one caveat to what I’m about to say. Depending on the power of your shredder’s engine, it may struggle with some things.
With that said, what can a garden shredder actually shred?
Some more powerful shredders can even handle medium-sized branches from trees or hedges, though it’s definitely worth a consultation with your owner’s manual before making that decision.
Be sure to keep in mind that the end goal here is compost. As such, you need to be careful not to throw in plastics, fat, oil, meat products, or anything else that can break down and damage plant life when composted. Additionally, don’t throw human waste, wax paper, or glossy/coated paper into the shredder. While this may seem obvious, it’s always worth noting for that one guy.
Surprisingly, cardboard is actually fantastic to compost. It creates a lot of carbon when breaking down (and does so quickly), meaning it’ll result in healthy and happy plants.
No matter your thought process going into this article, it should be pretty clear by now that garden shredders are absolutely worth it. They help keep your home eco-friendly, reduce waste, encourage plant growth with homemade compost, and more! While they do have their own downsides, for the right family, a quality garden shredder is entirely worth the investment.
If you’re still on the fence, consider how much waste comes from your garden each year. Plant clippings, pruning trimmings, leftover lawn clippings, and even cardboard – it all goes to the landfill. With a garden shredder, you simultaneously create a healthier environment for your garden, clean up your property, and help the environment. It really doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
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