If you hate raking up leaves in the autumn and grass clippings in the spring and summer, think about investing in a push lawn sweeper. A good push lawn sweeper will help you gather and clean up all the leaves, grass cuttings, and acorns on your lawn in short order. However, all sweepers are not created equal. In this article, I’ll explain how to best use a lawn sweeper on your property, and what to look for when buying one.
A lawn sweeper is designed to more or less replace your rake.
This means that you can finally free yourself of the physical work of bending down and picking up debris from your lawn. There are different kinds available on the market, which range from lawn sweepers that you can tow with your riding lawn mower, and the kind you push like a walk-behind mower.
The type I’ll be focusing on in this article is the push lawn sweeper, which you walk behind and push around your lawn.
What is a Push Lawn Sweeper?
A push lawn sweeper is one that you operate manually.
They tend to be less expensive and easier to store than other lawn sweepers, which make them a great tool to add to your garage.
Walk-behind lawn sweepers are an appropriate tool for you if you have a smaller property or you enjoy getting a certain amount of exercise when doing your lawn work (but not as much as you would with all the strain of raking leaves and picking debris up yourself).
This lawn care tool operates by means of a rotating sweeping brush (similar to the brush that you might find on the bottom of your vacuum cleaner). This brush gathers together all the debris on your lawn and sweeps it into a hopper bag, which is attached.
You simply empty the bag when it fills up. You can put the debris into a lawn bag or even a compost pile.
Should You Get One?
A push lawn sweeper tends to be a great investment for homeowners with large yards and/or those who dislike or have trouble performing lawn clean-up tasks.
A good one will save you a lot of time that you otherwise would have spent on your lawn. It will also dramatically decrease the strain on your body.
What are the Limitations of Push Lawn Sweepers?
You should be aware that one of the limitations of a sweeper is the fact that it cannot pick up larger sticks and branches.
It’s great at picking up leaves, nuts, and even crabapples, but it won’t work for big sticks and branches.
Personally, I find this to be the easiest type of lawn debris to clear manually, so that doesn’t bother me, but if you’re looking for a tool to easily pick up sticks on your lawn, this isn’t it.
However, you can multitask and even use it to remove dirt and dust from your driveway, walkway, or patio.
Where Can You Get a Push Lawn Sweeper?
You can find a selection of push lawn sweepers at local hardware stores, big box stores like The Home Depot, and online retailers like Amazon.
You also may be able to find them used on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, though they tend to be hard to find during the season when you need them.
It’s also possible to find push lawn sweepers available to rent. This can be a good way to try one out before you buy one, to make sure that it suits your needs.
How Much Will it Cost?
While a tow-behind lawn sweeper can cost as much as $400 (this one from Agri-Fab is my favorite and it’s under $350), a solid push lawn sweeper will generally only require you to spend between $100 and $200.
In fact, there is a Scott’s model on Amazon that currently retails for under $100.
Storing a Lawn Sweeper
One of the main selling points for a push lawn sweeper over another tool is that many fold up for easy storage.
Our garages are only so big, and while we would all love to have every toy and tool available, we have to prioritize what we want based on how often we’ll use it and how much space it will occupy in our garage.
A lawn sweeper that folds up will take up slightly more space than a large leaf rake when hanging on your wall, so I feel that if you’ll use the tool a lot, it’s worth the garage space.
Best Uses for a Push Lawn Sweeper
While you can use a sweeper in a variety of ways on your property, there are a few types of lawn debris for which this tool is especially effective.
Do You Have Acorns?
Have a big, beautiful Oak tree on your property? If so you are sure to accumulate acorns on your lawn. Not every lawn sweeper is great at collecting acorns. Read reviews, and choose a push lawn sweeper that is effective at dealing with this kind of debris.
The two factors to take into consideration are the number of acorns you tend to have on your lawn and the size of the lawn itself.
Extremely large lawns tend to do well with larger professional-grade models from Agri-Fab or Scott’s.
If you have a small lawn, you can go with something like the Garden Weasel Nut Gatherer (Amazon link).
What is the Best Lawn Sweeper for Leaves?
While every kind of lawn sweeper is effective for gathering leaves, if leaves are the major debris you need to pick up on your lawn, it’s a good idea to look for a model that is especially effective for this task.
Look for a push lawn sweeper that has a larger number of high-velocity brushes. This will mean that you are able to pick up more leaves with fewer passes over your lawn.
You can read my article all about my favorite tools for leaf clean up if you’d like to make fall clean up easier this year.
Tips for Using a Push Lawn Sweeper
There are a few things to keep in mind when you begin to use your lawn sweeper. Some of these include:
- Make sure you have assembled the sweeper correctly. Many times when homeowners have problems with their lawn sweepers, it’s because they’ve put them together the wrong way.
- It’s always easiest to use a lawn sweeper on a nicely mowed lawn. For obvious reasons, trying to use the machine on an overgrown lawn will lead to problems. Take it from me … it takes more effort to brush long hair than short hair.
- It’s best to use a lawn sweeper on a dry lawn. You will have difficulties if you try to sweep your lawn while the lawn and/or leaves are wet. This is because it’s harder for the brushes to get a proper grip on wet grass and wet debris.