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I feel your pain as I have a fairly wooded lot with fully grown Oaks and Maples. Mulching the leaves into the yard would leave a 4” thick layer over the lawn. It’s hard enough to grow grass in this much shade, I don’t need to smother the grass that I’ve been able to grow. I’ve tried a dozen different methods over the years and have finally settled on my current method. The first step is vigilance, the earlier in the leaf season and the more frequently you can work the yard the easier the task is each time. I blow everything into either the street or the driveway depending on the wind direction. Then I mulch mow them on the hard surface. I find it to be less stress on the mower, and me, and it allows for the leaves to be mulched much finer than if in the yard. I finish up with a push broom and snow shovel and get things bagged up. This gets me down to around six bags per session as opposed to 25+ if un-mulched.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I feel your pain as I have a fairly wooded lot with fully grown Oaks and Maples. Mulching the leaves into the yard would leave a 4” thick layer over the lawn. It’s hard enough to grow grass in this much shade, I don’t need to smother the grass that I’ve been able to grow. I’ve tried a dozen different methods over the years and have finally settled on my current method. The first step is vigilance, the earlier in the leaf season and the more frequently you can work the yard the easier the task is each time. I blow everything into either the street or the driveway depending on the wind direction. Then I mulch mow them on the hard surface. I find it to be less stress on the mower, and me, and it allows for the leaves to be mulched much finer than if in the yard. I finish up with a push broom and snow shovel and get things bagged up. This gets me down to around six bags per session as opposed to 25+ if un-mulched.
Thanks @mapes101 . Yeah the 4" layer is a real thing. I think this approach would work really well on my front yard since the drive runs the whole stretch on one side. Right now I've started to settle on blowing them into a huge pile along the tree line barrier with the neighbors propetry until the rest fall down. I'm going to try mulching that pile on the driveway and see how the mower handles it. Maybe I can haul it with 1 or 2 tarp drags!
 

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@wiltonlawn I used to have a lawn surrounded by trees like yours, and used to blow the leaves onto tarps and then compost them or drag them to the curb where they would be picked up by the municipality. This approach got the job done but was terribly labor intensive.

Eventually I stumbled on the Accelerator grass catcher. I could go over the lawn and suck up the leaves and the mower (equipped with gator blades) would chop the leaves into little bits. This reduced the volume of the leaves considerably, probably well over a factor of five. In fact, the volume was reduced so much that I just found a small spot at the back of the yard and piled all the bits there. By the next fall the bits were largely decomposed.

The amount of time required was probably a tenth of what I spent blowing the leaves onto a tarp. So it was a big win both in terms of shrinking the volume of the leaves and in terms of the time needed to deal with them. Your Makita, being a rear discharge, probably can’t be adapted to accept an Accelerator catcher. But if you can swing the purchase of a side discharge commercial walk behind you might find this a viable solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
@wiltonlawn I used to have a lawn surrounded by trees like yours, and used to blow the leaves onto tarps and then compost them or drag them to the curb where they would be picked up by the municipality. This approach got the job done but was terribly labor intensive.

Eventually I stumbled on the Accelerator grass catcher. I could go over the lawn and suck up the leaves and the mower (equipped with gator blades) would chop the leaves into little bits. This reduced the volume of the leaves considerably, probably well over a factor of five. In fact, the volume was reduced so much that I just found a small spot at the back of the yard and piled all the bits there. By the next fall the bits were largely decomposed.

The amount of time required was probably a tenth of what I spent blowing the leaves onto a tarp. So it was a big win both in terms of shrinking the volume of the leaves and in terms of the time needed to deal with them. Your Makita, being a rear discharge, probably can’t be adapted to accept an Accelerator catcher. But if you can swing the purchase of a side discharge commercial walk behind you might find this a viable solution.
I do have a 28" troy bilt that might be able to accept the smaller sized catcher. I guess I don't understand the Acclerator advantage vs the type of side-catcher that came with it? Is it pure size or ease of dumping? I am going to look into Gator blades for it better mulching.

Hauled a few tarps from my leave pile on the front driveway because we were hosting Turkey day and needed parking spots. Still for a got couple more trips from various piles under trees before all is said and done. Its probably already about 5ft tall.

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I do have a 28" troy bilt that might be able to accept the smaller sized catcher. I guess I don't understand the Acclerator advantage vs the type of side-catcher that came with it? Is it pure size or ease of dumping? I am going to look into Gator blades for it better mulching.

Hauled a few tarps from my leave pile on the front driveway because we were hosting Turkey day and needed parking spots. Still for a got couple more trips from various piles under trees before all is said and done. Its probably already about 5ft tall.

View attachment 3980
I didn’t mean to suggest that the Accelerator catcher was the only option: there are many aftermarket grass catchers. I chose it because it’s really well made, robust, and large capacity. It is very easy to empty quickly, which I really liked. I don’t have any experience with the 28” Troy Bilt, so I can’t give specific advice. But one thing you’ll want to consider is the weight of the filled catcher. It can be considerable, and your Troy Bilt might not be wide enough or heavy enough to keep from tipping towards the catcher. Maybe you’ll need to put a bag of lead shot on top of the mower deck opposite the catcher :)
 
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