Lawn Sweepers

Does anyone have any experience with using lawn sweepers to pick up leaves? Any suggestions on using them? Do they work when the leaves are wet? Do the 14 cubic feet bins get filled to fast?
Thanks in advance?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gene C wrote:

I don't have a sweeper, but I use a leaf vac that looks like a lawn mower from a distance. It only sucks-up the leaves. It does no sweeping. A sweeper probably would not be very good for a lawn, but might work better on a smooth surface like a sidewalk, making it more limited in it's uses than a vac. By lowering the nozzle, I can move my vac from the lawn to a sidewalk, and get better results. (Actually, I don't even bother to lower the nozzle. It does a pretty good job on a solid surface already.)
Before getting the vac, I tried two different methods. One was using a mulching mower with a bag. However I found that unless I wanted to mow my lawn lower than normal, the mower didn't suck-up enough of the leaves. Also, as the bag filled, the mower's ability to continue to fill the bag decreased. With my leaf vac, the leaves continue to get shoved into the bag up to (and to some extent beyond) the point that the bag gets so heavy that it becomes difficult to keep the weight from causing the front end to lift off the ground.
Does it work when they're wet? Actually, I think it works better when they're at least a little wet. When they're dry, the bag fills faster, and sometimes isn't heavy enough to let you know it full. On the other hand, I wouldn't go out in a downpour, and suck-up wet leaves, and the puddles around them, either. (We don't usually get freezes or snow here during leave season, so I can't really offer a judgment on how well it would work with frozen or snow covered leaves.)
The other method I used was to lay down a big tarp, and use a wide leaf rake to toss the leaves onto the tarp. The time it took me to do it that way was similar to using the leaf vac, including time to empty the bag on the vac each time it filled. However, the result was unshredded leaves. And while the aerobic workout did me good, it may not be advised for some folks.
The vac has two other features. One is a big tube that can be used to get into corners, and other clean-up. The other is a direct feed tube that can be used to shred twigs, or other garden waste. Preparing the waste into pieces that'll fit in the tube is a lot of work, but I've built-up some pretty hot compost piles by shredding first.
So the vac works best of the three methods I've used, but it's expensive. In the end I'd recommend it to someone who can afford it, or to someone who can get a bunch of neighbors to co-op in it's purchase.
--
Warren H.

==========
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We bought a lawn sweeper two years ago. I don't like it at all.
For it to work the yard needs to be very flat and level. There can not be very much debris to be picked up. Takes a great deal of strength to push across the yard.
A large leaf rake seems like a better choice. Or, if you don't mind the noise and smell, a leaf blower-vac might be a better choice than a lawn sweeper.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
rec.gardens wrote:

I have rakes and blowers. The strange thing is, the tried and true rake is sometimes better for a job. I really feel this is one of those things missed by many who I see doggedly continuing to use a blower against a pile when a largish rake would move that pile much quicker -- and no, you do not plug a rake in or fill up a gas tank. :-)
My favorite rake is hard plastic (as in Rubbermaid) and has a 30" sweep, but there are times and places where a smaller sweep with flexible metal tines is actually better -- like between close plantings.
OF COURSE many factors affect what to use.
FACE
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How about this? I assume that the lawn sweepers have a "trap-door" in the back? I attach a large tarp to drag directly behind the lawn sweeper. Then as I drive the lawn tractor, pulling the lawn sweeper and the tarp. The lawn sweeper picks up the leaves, puts them into the bag but then as they get pushed, they get pushed out onto the tarp.
Does anyone see why that would not work?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@csc.com (Gene C) wrote:

Yes, no trap door. Wrong assumption.
I have two lawn sweepers and they both work the same way. You pull a rope and the back of the sweeper raises up in the air like a giant clam shell, dumping the contents under the sweeper. However, what you could do is remove the back and have the sweeper just toss the leaves on your tarp. Every time a gust of wind came along or when you turned a corner the leaves would all leave.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(Gene C) wrote:

So, do you feel that the sweepers work well or do they "raise up" and dump the leaves where you DON'T want them?
I will most likely have to use my lawn tractor to cut and blow them into lines then drag a tarp and sweep them onto it as was described by an earlier poster. That's what I did in the past. I was posting this inquiry to see if a lawn sweeper could help me avoid the step of sweeping the leaves from lines onto a tarp. With or without the lawn sweeper I have do deal with wind. I also believe I can take long enough turns to avoid dumping the leaves from the tarp.
So it sounds like everyone successfully uses lawn sweepers to pick up leave?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gene Cyprych wrote:

YES. I find that if I wear gloves while riding the mower, I can pull the dump rope while the tractor is moving (very slowly) and pile the leaves near where I will burn them. The sweeper was well worth the dough.
Mike Prager Beaufort, NC (on the coast in zone 8a) (Remove spam traps from email address to reply.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gene snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Gene Cyprych) wrote:

No problem with them raising up. If there are too many leaves, they just push the extra leaves in front and if way too many, the pile being pushed in front will spill off to the sides.

I have a rear discharge mower so a lawn sweeper is a natural and I can sweep the leaves as a mow. However when there are no leaves and the grass is very tall, I always let the clippings dry out before sweeping them. Normally I just let the clipping and mulched leaves go pack into the soil.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@csc.com (Gene C) wrote:

I have a garden tractor with a lawn sweeper. It works with leaves but fills up very quickly. If you go too fast the leaves fly out. The dampness of the leaves doesn't seem to be a factor unless you have small flat leaves. My lawn is not the least bit flat and I can sweep the leaves with no problem. The trick is to go across the curve, not with it. At any one point a lawn only curves in one direction and is flat 90 degrees to that (unless you have mounds or pits).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stephen M. Henning wrote:

Our equipment and experience are like Stephen's. We are in Zone 8, with centipede grass and tall loblolly pines as well as some oaks. The sweeper does a fine (though not perfect) job. We use it mainly in the fall for leaves and after hurricanes for pinecones, needles, and twigs. It's a pleasure not to have to pick up the pinecones by hand after a hurricane. Loblolly cones are plentiful (!) and have sharp spines.
http://home.ec.rr.com/mpjr/garden /
If the weather and conditions are right we can sweep the leaves in the part of the yard with oaks (for disposal) and then use the sweeper to gather pine needles (for mulch) from the area with pines. We would not be able to maintain our acre lot without it.
Mike Prager Beaufort, NC (on the coast in zone 8a) (Remove spam traps from email address to reply.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.