Lawn sweeper, anyone?
September 20, 2005 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever used a lawn sweeper?

I don't want to get a leaf blower, but the thought of raking 100 bags of leaves this fall is depressing.

I saw one of these in a catalog and was intrigued. Do they work?

(We mostly have maple trees, so fairly big leaves.)
posted by SashaPT to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
I used one of these as a kid, picking up maple and poplar leaves from the 40-odd trees in my backyard. It works well, but the issue is that the container get full up really quickly, and you have to stop and bag quite frequently.

Better than raking, though.
posted by sauril at 1:38 PM on September 20, 2005

I rented a Billy Goat once and it was great, until the bag filled after running it for 5 mins and then it was incredibly heavy to empty.

I have this electric blower/vac that works good. I can't find it on the web anywhere, but mine came with an attachment that allows me to blow the mulched up leaves directly into a trash can.

When thing get really tough with leaf removal, I like to run the mower over the lawn once to mulch things up, then put the bag on and lower the mower one setting lower and do it again. That takes care of most of it!
posted by internal at 2:22 PM on September 20, 2005

I just mow them up (with the mower set to its usual 'as high as it goes' setting) on relatively dry days. I'm sure it wreaks some sort of havoc somewhere, somehow, but it seems to work reasonably well. Some bits of the leaves fall on the lawn to protect/mulch up over the winter, and the stuff that ends up in the bag composts way faster.

(Note that I have a crappy old Toro gas powered mower and it rains all the time here once the leaves start to fall. YMMV)
posted by togdon at 2:26 PM on September 20, 2005

Yep, I use one. I got a 38-inch (12 cu. ft.) model to pull around behind my riding mower. Once you get the height adjusted (which is easy to do), it works great. I have a couple acres with many maple trees, and they coat the ground pretty heavy with leaves. This thing worked great. I also used it after July 4th fireworks to sweep up all the paper. It did okay on that. It does pretty well on grass clippings too, but you do have to fiddle with the height settings to get it right.

I don't know how the hand push-model works, but the tow-behind one works as advertised. It works pretty much like a carpet sweeper.
posted by Katravax at 5:02 PM on September 20, 2005

They work just fine if you have a small yard or few leaves. As sauril said, they fill up fast. So does the hopper in a riding lawn mower.

We have a large yard with numerous maples, plus birches and other leaf producers. Over 20 years, our family has developed a rather rigorous approach. We use a leaf blower to create heaped rows of leaves and then spread a large tarp, about 12x10 or so. We rake the leaves into the tarp and drag them into the woods. (It helps to have some acres of woods in the backyard.) You have to be willing to serve as a beast of burden, though, since each full tarp, even of dry leaves, weighs about 100 pounds or more.
posted by megatherium at 8:31 PM on September 20, 2005

The lawn vacuum still requires quite a bit of effort, but it's easier on the shoulders than raking. Plus, you can dump the bag into the compost bin.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:01 AM on September 21, 2005

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