Riding Lawn Mower Rake Attachment
A riding lawn mower rake attachment can be a helpful tool for mowing large areas. This attachment works by collecting leaves and other vegetative debris and chopping them into small pieces.
The material is then flung out of the side discharge portion of the mower or sucked up by a vacuum attachment and deposited into a container attached to the tractor.
You can tilt this container manually or use a mechanical sweeper rake. These rakes make it much easier to compost large amounts of leaves.
The Yard Tuff Acreage Rake 60 is a towable rake that covers 60 inches. It has twenty-four spring steel tines and is simple to use. It weighs about 100 pounds. For ease of maneuverability, the rake is equipped with a lifting handle.
This riding lawn mower rake attachment is designed to rake grass clippings, leaves, pine needles, and other debris. It is compatible with most riding lawnmowers.
The H473/60DFS riding lawn mower rake attachment is perfect for springtime cleanup. Designed for dethatching and comb-cutting grass, it is a must-have accessory.
Husqvarna Dethatcher Attachment
Adding a Husqvarna Dethatcher Attachment to your riding lawn mower can help you maintain a beautiful and healthy lawn.
The dethatcher is designed to cut through thick grass and moss. It features a 40-inch working width, seven-inch semi-pneumatic wheels, and a 70-pound weight tray for stability.
The attachment also features a handle to make transportation easy and a convenient hook-up.
Husqvarna Disc Harrow
A Husqvarna Disc Harrow riding-lawn-mower rake attachment has 42-inch cutting deck and two cutting blades. It features mow-in-reverse functionality and hydrostatic transmission. The 42-inch cutting deck is wide enough to handle most yards.
The Husqvarna Disc Harrow riding-lawn mower rake attachment is excellent for preparing beds for new gardens or killing existing lawns.
This attachment is simple to use and hooks up to the mower with a sleeve hitch. Disc harrows are excellent for preparing uniform seedbeds and are great for getting rid of old plants and weeds.
Riding-lawn mowers are a great option for larger properties or flat terrain. Many models have useful attachments to improve the lawn’s health, move heavy objects, and remove snow. You can even get a manufacturer’s warranty on some models.
Just amazed daily by the heavy machinery used to make our days easier and allow for fast and simple construction from your backyard to a city!
How To Make Your Own Dethatching Mower Blade At Home
Should I Rake Grass Clippings or Leave Them on My Lawn?
David Beaulieu is a landscaping expert and plant photographer, with 20 years of experience.
A reader with a large lawn and concerned about the extra landscape maintenance required to rake up grass clippings asked, “Can I leave them on my lawn? Or will they cause harm?” It is a question that many homeowners have, so the answer is worth sharing with everyone tasked with mowing lawns.
Should You Rake Grass Clippings or Leave Them?
Leaving them on a lawn that has healthy grass becomes a problem only if they are too thick (that is, the grass was too high when you mowed it) or the lawn is wet:
- When they are too thick, they mat down.
- When the lawn is wet, grass clippings stick together (just as it is easier to make snowballs out of wet snow than fluffy snow).
- In each case, they block the healthy flow of air to your lawn.
If you mow the lawn before it gets overly tall, the mass of the grass clippings will not be sufficient to warrant raking (or bagging, if you use a bag attachment on your lawnmower). They do not contribute to lawn thatch build-up.
But what if you do not want to have to worry about getting the timing just right or bother with emptying out a mower bag? A good way to get around having to bag or rake grass clippings is to mow with a mulching mower. Mulching grass clippings chops them up finely enough that they cause no harm to the lawn. But regardless of the type of mower that you own, you should not be mowing when the grass is wet (if for no other reason than because it is dangerous to mow wet grass).
The advice above specified that leaving clippings on the lawn is all right, under the right conditions, provided that the grass in question is healthy. But if you have patches of diseased grass on your lawn, you should bag the clippings and dispose of them. Otherwise, you risk letting the disease spread to other areas of the lawn.
Air Flow and Lawn Diseases
Above, it was stated that when grass clippings are too thick or stick together due to wetness, they can block airflow to your lawn. This is unhealthy. Why? The reason is that poor airflow encourages disease. Any type of fungal disease, in particular, is more likely to occur under conditions where air does not circulate as well as it should. Here are some diseases that can attack a lawn due to improper handling of grass clippings:
Why Grass Clippings Are Good for Your Lawn
Making a case for using a mulching mower and leaving grass clippings on lawns (under the right conditions, as outlined above) goes beyond stating that no harm will be done. Leaving this residue where it falls can be good for your lawn, your health (if you believe in green living), and your book.
The nutrients provided by the grass clippings allow you to lower your dependence on chemical lawn fertilizers, thereby saving money. They are especially rich nitrogen. And this natural form of nitrogen acts as a slow-release fertilizer. You will never have to worry about it burning your lawn. Nor will it cause harm to pets or children.
Grass Clippings in Compost
If for whatever reason, you decide that you do not want to leave your grass clippings on the lawn (for example, you wish to avoid tracking them indoors), there is still no need to bring them out to the curb to have the city haul them away. That is a waste of organic matter. Instead, use them in your compost bin.
Grass clippings serve as a “green” component in compost and work in tandem with “brown” components such as the leaves you rake in fall. Freshly-cut grass blades are mainly water, which is why a huge pile of them deposited into a compost bin breaks down so fast. In the process of breaking down, they heat up your compost pile, which, in turn, helps the pile’s other components to decompose more quickly.
Should I Rake the Leaves in My Yard, or Mow Them?
If you dread the leaf-raking and bagging chore each Fall, I have good news for you. You can stop doing it now. No more aching back and wasted time. Instead just mow over those fallen leaves to chop them into tiny pieces. This is called mulching and not only does it save you a lot of time, it also improves your lawn.
Improve Your Soil By Raking Less
As the chopped leaves decompose, they boost the soil with valuable nutrients. Your lawn will get a great nitrogen boost like free fertilizer.
Based on research at Michigan State, over time you will see a drastic decrease in dandelions and crabgrass. And come Spring, you will notice a much greener lawn.
The shredded leaves will soon filter through the grass and disappear from sight. At that time, microbes and worms get to work recycling them.
How To Mulch Your Leaves
The goal is to chop the leaves into small pieces. You can use a regular lawn mower however you may need to make an extra pass or two over the leaves. If you use a mower that blows the leaves out to the side, start mowing on the outside edge of your lawn, shooting the leaves toward the middle of the yard. This way you will mow over the leaves more than once and keep them from blowing on the sidewalk or driveway.
Don’t Leave The Leaves Whole
Leaving leaves whole on the ground blocks sunlight and air from reaching the grass. The rain then mats them down into a soggy mess. The lack of light and air can cause turf diseases or kill your grass.
We hope this helps you decide whether to rake them or mow them.
Contact us today to request a free, no-obligation estimate for your landscaping, hardscaping, or other outdoor project.
Keep your yard clear of grass clippings, leaves, and small debris with one of these helpful turf-tidying devices.
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The best lawn sweepers quickly and efficiently gather leaves, grass clippings, and even pine needles, giving your yard a pristine look. The clever machines use cylindrical brushes that reach into the grass to pull out debris, which it then collects in a hopper, making it easy to add the waste to a burn pile or to load into eco-friendly lawn bags.
To choose the right lawn sweeper for your needs, investigate the sweeping path and the hopper capacity as well as the style, features, and durability of models you’re considering. For more in-depth help, keep reading this primer to learn what is usually important to consider. Later on, we will review the best lawn sweepers from our backyard trials. But first, here’s a preview of our picks for some of the best lawn sweepers on the market.
- BEST OVERALL:Agri-Fab 45-0492 Lawn Sweeper
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Agri-Fab 45-0218 26-Inch Push Lawn Sweeper
- BEST HEAVY DUTY:Ohio Steel 50 in. Lawn Sweeper
- HONORABLE MENTION:Agri-Fab 45-0320 42-Inch Tow Lawn Sweeper
Before You Buy a Lawn Sweeper
Lawn sweepers, also known as leaf sweepers, tend to be best suited to lawns that demand a manicured appearance. But these devices fill up with grass clippings and leaves quickly, particularly in yards with dense foliage. Before fully clearing a denser yard, there are usually frequent stops to empty the hopper, which is a sturdy bag attached to a metal frame that captures debris.
You’ll also need a place to dump the debris, whether it’s beyond a tree line or near a burn pile. Emptying the hopper bag onto the ground and then scooping debris into a lawn waste bag is another option, though it’s far less convenient.
For larger properties that don’t require perfectly manicured yards or properties that have a garden along with a lawn, a riding mower that mulches the leaves and grass to fertilize the land may be the better option.
Types of Lawn Sweepers
There are a few different styles of lawn sweepers available. Knowing which one best suits a lawn’s size and cleaning needs is important. Whether you have a tiny yard that requires an occasional cleanup or a larger property heavily covered in fallen leaves, there’s a sweeper style that’s right for the job.
Tow-behind lawn sweepers offer the most convenience of all styles. These sweepers hook to a riding lawn mower, ATV, or side-by-side to pull across a property. These models are designed with capacity in mind, as they’re able to hold a large amount of debris before emptying.
When it comes time to empty the hopper, users may appreciate the convenient dump feature of many tow-behind models. With a simple lift of a handle or a pull of a rope, the hopper dumps its entire contents. Once the handle latches again, users can immediately return to tidying the yard.
While tow-behind sweepers are good for large properties, they might not be a wise choice for property sections that hold water. The tow vehicle can get stuck or cause ruts, and the sweeper can get clogged with mud.
Push-style lawn sweepers are great for cleaning small properties without a lot of trees. They’ll do a reasonably good job of picking up grass clippings and leaves, but they typically take more effort to operate than tow-behind models.
As the name implies, these sweepers require you to push the unit, requiring some legwork to complete a yard cleanup. Push-style lawn sweepers also don’t hold as much as tow-behind models, so frequent stops to empty the hopper may be necessary.
For those who want to get the job done as fast as possible on a large property, a power lawn sweeper can fill the bill. Power sweepers come in both push-style models and sweepers designed to be trailered behind a mower or tractor (just like tow-behind models); the main difference is power sweepers run on gasoline engines.
Power sweepers are usually about the size of a push mower but can come in large tow-behind versions. Like push-style sweepers and tow-behinds, they use brushes, but the brushes spin at a much faster rate. This allows them to accomplish more thorough grooming in one pass than the other styles. Some also have huge hoppers, making short work of the job on big properties.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Lawn Sweeper
Lawn sweepers can save time cleaning up a property and are available at a fairly broad price range. Familiarizing yourself with their important features will help ensure you make an informed decision. Here are some key shopping considerations to keep in mind.
Manufacturers categorize lawn sweepers by the size of their sweeping path; this refers to the amount of ground the brushes can cover in one pass. Typical paths for both powered and push-style sweepers measure between 21 and 26 inches. Smaller-path models will be easier to push but require more passes to finish the job compared to models with a larger sweeping width.
Tow-behind sweepers have much wider sweeping paths—some upward of 50 inches in width, meaning they’ll take far fewer passes than a push sweeper. A wide sweeping width is often combined with a larger hopper, enabling them to hold more debris. This means fewer stops to dump collected waste.
The size of the turf matters when it comes to choosing a sweeper style. For a small patch of front yard grass that must be kept tidy for curb appeal, a push-style sweeper will be more than adequate. By the time the hopper bag fills, you’re likely to be done with the yard.
Those with lots of land may be best off investing in a tow-behind sweeper. They’re far less taxing on the user and can make quick work of cleaning an entire field. When the hopper fills, the user can dump it quickly and get back to finishing the job.
Hopper capacity depends somewhat on the size of the machine, but it’s still worth considering when shopping for a sweeper. Those who don’t enjoy making repeated stops to dump the hopper may choose a larger model, even for a smaller property.
Large-capacity hoppers measure upward of 25 cubic feet, and that amount of damp grass clippings can be mighty hefty. If purchasing a model with a large hopper, make sure it has an easy-dump feature to save on back and arm strain.
Lawn sweepers use cylindrical brushes to sweep debris up from the lawn and into the hopper. The wheels drive the brushes, which spin even faster than the wheels turn. They accomplish this through a transmission that multiplies the number of times the brushes spin in relation to the wheels. The higher this brush-to-wheel ratio, the more times the brushes will rotate per spin of the wheels.
As with any tool, buy the best-quality option you can afford, within reason. Most users won’t need a top-of-the-line industrial model, but it might be worth spending a little extra for a sturdy, well-made unit that won’t jam or break after minimal use. The higher-end models often cause far less frustration during both setup and use.
High-quality lawn sweepers feature components made of durable materials, providing for a much longer usable lifespan. Though plastic parts are commonplace, the best lawn sweepers are strong where it matters most, like the drive gear that spins the brush. Also, the highest-quality lawn sweepers have built-in, adjustable brush heights, allowing users to select how aggressively they want their sweeper to operate.
Reasons to Use a Lawn Sweeper
Equipping your yard care kit with a lawn sweeper (leaf sweeper) will save quite a bit of time when it comes to cleanup. It can also offer a great level of detail beyond simply raking or blowing debris across the lawn. The following lawn debris will benefit from a lawn sweeper:
- Grass clippings can be a real hassle to collect. Even when they’re raked into small piles across the lawn, getting clippings from the ground and into a bag is usually pretty messy. With a yard sweeper, raking is unnecessary. The sweeper will dig down to the surface and lift the clippings into the hopper.
- Acorns can be tough to collect—and easy to roll an ankle on, causing injury. A lawn sweeper can handle acorns more quickly, safely, and efficiently than a rake.
- When pine needles collect in a thick blanket on the lawn, they can kill grass and detract from landscaping. Dragging a lawn sweeper over a blanket of needles may take several passes, but sweeping regularly will keep a pine thatch to a minimum.
- Pine cones can wreck the look of a lawn and cause tripping hazards. They’re also incredibly difficult to rake, and leaf blowers have a hard time budging them. Lawn sweepers can help remove them, though it might take a few passes to clear these bulky bits of debris.
Our Top Picks
Cleaning up your yard can be easier with one of the best lawn sweepers. We tested the following models in our backyard lawn sweeper trials, cleaning up grass clippings, fallen leaves, and other yard debris. If you are looking for the right tool to keep your lawn looking great, read on to find out if one of these top picks may work for you.
Agri-Fab 45-0492 Lawn Sweeper
Agri-Fab’s top-of-the-line model cleans up lawns quickly and efficiently. This sweeper uses a 5.6:1 brush-to-wheel ratio, rotating the brushes faster than many other models and putting more bristles to work grooming the grass. It also boasts a massive 25-cubic-foot hopper, which empties easily from the back with a lever accessible from the tractor seat. On our test runs with wet grass clippings, the hopper became too heavy for the 22-horsepower riding lawn mower to easily tow uphill at about half-capacity. But, the large capacity was perfect for bulky, lightweight dried leaves.
Another nice feature is the ability to adjust the position of the trailer tongue, changing how the sweeper trails. Setting the sweeper off-center using this option makes it possible to mow and sweep at the same time. When evaluating this model, however, do consider that it has plastic wheels instead of semi-pneumatic or fully pneumatic rubber tires, which are more heavy duty.
Get the Agri-Fab lawn sweeper at Amazon, Tractor Supply, and Ace Hardware.
Agri-Fab 45-0218 26-Inch Push Lawn Sweeper
All the cleaning capability of Agri-Fab’s larger tow-behind lawn sweepers is distilled down to a compact, lightweight push model. The adjustable-height brush makes it easy to stay within the top half-inch of grass. A 4.5:1 brush-to-wheel ratio ensures powerful sweeping action to pick up all kinds of organic debris, including acorns and pine cones. The 7-cubic-foot hopper provides enough space to efficiently pick up shredded or unshredded fall leaves. In our tests, we noted that the sweeper becomes too heavy to easily push uphill at about half-capacity with wet grass clippings. The sweeper stores flat and is light enough to hang on the wall by its handle.
Although emptying the hopper is as simple as turning it over, which is easy even when full, buyers who plan to bag their lawn debris may be frustrated with that process. There is not an easy hopper-to-bag solution. Leaves need to be hand-loaded into the disposable bag after dumping out the hopper. However, debris collection with this sweeper is quieter than blowing and easier than raking, and filling bags is the same with any of those three options.
Get the Agri-Fab lawn sweeper at The Home Depot.
Ohio Steel 50 in. Lawn Sweeper
The 50-inch sweeper from Ohio Steel is an excellent choice for a DIYer looking for a high-quality sweeper with features and adjustments galore. This model uses a patented spiral brush to efficiently pick up debris. The sweeper features a hearty 4.5:1 brush-to-wheel ratio and 11-inch brushes, keeping clogging to a minimum on the way to the sizable 26-cubic-foot hopper.
In our tests, this sweeper did an outstanding job picking up acorns, pine cones, and other heavy, dense debris as well as grass and leaves. It was also the most difficult unit to assemble, mostly due to the complicated hitch assembly. In action, it was a top performer, with plenty of cleaning power and load capacity.
Rubber tires help maintain grip and brush speed, and users can adjust the brush height easily. For gathering pine needles and light grass clippings, the user can lower the deck for a deep clean. Raising the deck for heavy leaf piles and long grass clippings helps keep the machine from clogging and jamming. Shoppers should note that the tension rods made to hold open the hopper can be a little precarious to install, so be careful and patient.
Get the Ohio Steel lawn sweeper at Amazon, Tractor Supply, Walmart, and Lowe’s.
Agri-Fab 45-0320 42-Inch Tow Lawn Sweeper
Anyone looking to add an affordable lawn sweeper to their lawn maintenance fleet may want to consider this 42-inch model from Agri-Fab. Its sweep path makes quick work of cleaning smaller properties, and it weaves between trees and down footpaths easily. With a 4.5:1 brush-to-wheel ratio, the Agri-Fab quickly snatches debris from the lawn’s surface. We noticed that more acorns and heavier debris were left behind by this sweeper compared with others we tested, although the quantity was definitely lower than prior to sweeping.
A dumping rope helps the user empty the hopper without getting down from the tractor seat, but the hopper is still small enough to maneuver by hand for those who struggle with backing up a trailer. Most users will have to stop and dump the 12-cubic-foot hopper at least a few times before completing the job. The smaller size and lightweight advantage of this unit became apparent as our 22-horsepower riding mower did not struggle with a load of wet grass clippings. We were also able to navigate through close plantings more easily with this unit compared to the larger ones.
- Unlikely to become overweight
- Good size for maneuverability
- Lightweight materials, easy to tow
- Narrow body for easier access
Get the Agri-Fab lawn sweeper on Amazon and at The Home Depot.
The Advantages of Owning a Lawn Sweeper
Owning a lawn sweeper can make yard cleanup quicker and easier, giving a lawn a tidy look you can be proud of. Depending on the situation, collecting yard debris and keeping grass clean has its advantages.
While grass clippings can be excellent fertilizer, the larger clippings from infrequent mowing may be substantial enough to smother the turf. A lawn sweeper can quickly clear up clippings so air and sunlight can flow to the growing grass beneath. The same solution applies to fallen leaves, since letting a dense layer accumulate on top of the lawn can kill the grass.
Hiring a pro to perform debris removal can get expensive. With your own lawn sweeper, you can clean up your yard on your schedule and even make several smaller sweeps throughout the fall, keeping up with the leaves a little at a time.
- Keep turf from being smothered by leaves and clippings.
- Save money over hiring a pro.
- Make several smaller cleanups rather than face an overwhelming effort when leaves fall in autumn.
Tips on Using a Lawn Sweeper
Make the most of a lawn sweeper with these helpful tips:
- Wait for the lawn to dry. Waiting for grass, pine needles, and other debris to dry will make them much lighter and easier for a lawn sweeper to pick up.
- Find the best speed. Adjusting the speed of the tow vehicle will affect how well the sweeper operates. While sweepers do have drive wheels, going too fast might not increase their efficiency, and going too slow might not work well either. Experiment with speed until you find what’s right for the lawn condition.
- Sweep the lawn regularly. Lawn sweepers are easy to use, but waiting until grass clippings and lawn debris pile up is not the best strategy. Using the machine after every mow, or weekly during the fall, will make managing debris easier.
Lawn Sweeper Maintenance Checklist
Even a budget-friendly lawn sweeper is an investment, and keeping it in tip-top shape is a great way to make it last as long as possible. This maintenance checklist can help.
- Empty the bag after every use. Leaving damp grass clippings in the hopper can lead to mold and cause the hopper bag material to wear down faster. After dumping, check the nooks and crannies of the metal components for clumps of grass.
- Lubricate the drive wheel and sweeper. Dust, dirt, and grime can build up in the drive wheel and the components that drive the sweeper, which can lead to built-up moisture and rust. Keep those components moving freely and smoothly with a spray lubricant like WD-40. Spraying once a season should be sufficient, but also spray anytime the unit feels rough or starts squeaking.
- Check the chute for debris. Sticky substances, like pine sap, can cause debris to pile up inside the chute. Such debris will trap moisture that can lead to rust, obstruct flow, and cause other issues. Ensuring the chute is clear is helpful, but wash the chute and treat it with a bit of automotive wax to keep it as smooth as possible.
A lawn sweeper can do many of the jobs done with leaf rakes, leaf blowers, and mower baggers. The best lawn sweepers have excellent sweeping power, durability without excess weight, and operate easily. Our Best Overall pick, the Agri-Fab 44-inch Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper, is built to last with a high-powered sweeper, heavy-duty steel parts, and a generously sized hopper that is easy to dump.
Those with difficult terrain or smaller riding mowers may appreciate the increased maneuverability and durable, lightweight construction of the Agri-Fab 42-inch Lawn Sweeper.
How We Tested the Best Lawn Sweeper
The sweepers shipped from online retailers, so the testing process began with assembly according to the provided manufacturer’s instructions. To gauge the ability of each unit, we allowed a section of lawn to grow out a bit longer than average.
We picked up larger sticks and other foreign objects, and cleaned up after our dogs as normal before mowing. After mowing, a rain shower wetted the clippings, adding an unexpected real-life element to the test. We then used the sweepers to pick up the wet lawn clippings and other late-summer landscape debris, including some areas of fallen leaves, pine cones, acorns, and more.
We tested various brush heights (all models instruct the operator to keep the brush tips within the top half-inch of grass), sweeping speeds, maneuverability around tight corners and up and down hills, and dumping ability.
Lawn sweepers don’t fall into the common lawn tool category, so not everyone has a good idea of what they do and how they work. If you’re looking for more information, consider the answers to these common questions. If you can’t find what you want here, reach out to the machine’s manufacturer and speak to a customer service representative.
York Rake For Lawn Mowers Model TA1 Landscape Rake Spreading Dirt with Zero Turn
Q: How does a lawn sweeper work?
Lawn sweepers use a transmission driven by one of the wheels to turn cylindrical brushes. These brushes grab debris and propel them down a chute and into a hopper.
Q: How do you empty a lawn sweeper?
Most lawn sweepers have dump functions. The hoppers empty by either lifting a handle or pulling an attached rope. The hopper will open up and release its contents onto the ground.
Q: Do lawn sweepers work on grass clippings?
Lawn sweepers work very well on grass clippings, but some models perform better than others.
Q: Do lawn sweepers work on a wet lawn?
Wet lawns are a challenge for lawn sweepers. Wet clippings tend to clump together, getting stuck in the brushes and the collection chute, so you’re better off letting them dry before sweeping.