Homemade Leaf Mulcher

Updated February 21, 2017

You can create loads of rich mulch from your excess leaves and yard debris with a homemade leaf mulcher. Modify a couple items you may already have in your garage into a mulch production centre to feed the exposed soil in your yard. Save money on buying bags of mulch to nourish your plants by using the resources around you to improve your environment.

Weed Eater

To make compost effectively, you need to chop raw plant materials into the finest pieces possible. Give your weed eater enough bite to break up almost any leaf and twig by replacing the nylon cord cutter with a more effective option. Check the manual on your specific weed eater model for any specifications on changing from cord to blades. Look in your local hardware store or online to find a three-blade weed eater replacement head that will fit your model. Choose a blade system that is made of a strong material intended for heavy duty use on brush and thick weeds. Find a brand that offers replacements blades for less than it would cost you to buy an entire new head when your blades wear down. Follow the directions to secure the new head so it will stay on during use. Test the function on a bush or patch of weeds and make any needed adjustments for optimum cutting.


Modify a plastic dustbin and lid to serve as your mulching chamber for a clean contained cutting process. Place your weed eater in the empty dustbin and measure the width of its post at the level where the lid will be. Lift the weed eater halfway out and measure again to be sure there is no variance in width. Use a reciprocating saw to start a cut in from the side of the lid to the centre. Make a small hole in the centre that measures slightly larger than your largest weed eater post measurement. Take the lid and fit it around the post of the weed eater about where the measurements were taken. Place the weed eater and lid onto the dustbin and hold either side of the can's base with your feet to hold it in place.


Use your homemade leaf mulcher to run a regular cycle of collection, composting, mulching and spreading. Clear areas of your yard with ground cover growth of all leaves, twigs and debris so they have access to the rays of the sun. Place these collected scraps of plant matter into your mulcher and allow them to compost until the can is about half full. Set your dustbin outside with the vented lid on top so the gases that are created during decomposition won't stink up your garage. Mulch your composting leaves by running the weed eater inside the half filled can with the lid on. Stir and lift the weed eater to incorporate all the matter for destruction. Spread your rich new mulch on flowerbeds, around trees or on any other exposed dirt areas of your yard.

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About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.