If you are like me, you use the lawn sweeper to pick up leaves and other debris in the yard. If you have a few oak trees, you don’t have to rush to the stores to buy an acorn rake or any other equipment to collect acorns with as you can use your lawn sweeper.
To answer your question, “will a lawn sweeper pick up acorns?” the answer is yes, the machine will collect all the annoying acorns from your yard.
How do you use the lawn sweeper to pick acorns?
Start with adjusting the brush height on your sweeper so that it collects as many acorns as possible. To do so, you need to loosen the adjustment knob and push down on the height adjustment level.
The best adjustment is when the brush setting is at least ½” down into the grass. For the lawn sweeper to effectively collect the acorns, the grass shouldn’t be too long.
The grass needs to be even, or you will have to keep on adjusting the brush height.
You control the sweeping by how fast the tractor is moving and adjust the sweeping speed depending on the number of acorns in your yard.
Once you are done or when the lawn sweeper is full, pull the rope attached to the hopper and dump the collected acorns.
Safety tips when using the sweeper
If this is the first time you are using the lawn sweeper, you need to be cautious so that you don’t hurt yourself. Safety tips to remember:
- Attach the end of the rope to the towing vehicle to keep it from the wheels and other rotating parts.
- Regardless of how small the hopper looks, don’t attach the hopper rope to any part of your body or clothing. You also should never hold onto the rope when towing the sweeper.
- Keep the sweeper away from the fire as excessive heat can damage the hopper bag. The heat can also cause the hopper bag and the collected acorns to burn.
- If you don’t have a large yard or you don’t have a towing vehicle, get a push lawn sweeper.
How does a lawn sweeper work?
The machine uses stiff brushes that are fastened to a rotating shaft. The shaft is driven through gears, connected to the rotating wheels.
As the machine moves along, the wheels spin the brushes and the brushes comb through the grass to dislodge acorns and flip them into the hopper attached to the sweeper.
You can use push or tow lawn sweepers. From their names, push sweepers are designed to be pushed while the tow sweepers are designed to be towed by a lawn tractor or any other towing vehicle.
Maintaining the lawn sweeper
Just like any other yard machine, you need to keep your lawn sweeper in top shape. Before you use the machine, carefully inspect it for loose or broken parts and other materials that might be stuck in the mechanism.
You also should lubricate the brush shaft and wheel bearings twice a year. Before you store the machine, wipe the hopper with a dry bag.
Buying a new lawn sweeper
If you don’t already own a lawn sweeper and looking to buy one, you need to consider several factors that include:
Size of yard: Obviously, the larger the yard, the larger the machine you will need for the work. You can get away with most push lawn sweepers, but if you have an ultra-large yard, you need a towed sweeper that you can easily attach to a towing vehicle.
Hopper volume: Hoppers collect leaves and acorns as they are swept up. Their capacities vary by cubic feet. If you have a small yard, a 12 cubic-foot hopper is enough, but if you have a large lawn, you need a hopper that is at least 26 cubic feet.
For ultra-large properties, go for multiple-hoppers that are capable of holding as much as 78 cubic feet of acorns and debris.
Hitch: Hitches come in different heights. The height you choose depends on what you are towing the lawn sweeper with. If you aren’t sure of the right height for your lawn sweeper, choose a sweeper with a multi-hitch height.
This gives you versatility and at the same time eliminates the worry of whether it will fit your towing machine when it arrives.
Width: The different lawn sweeper widths determine how quickly you collect acorns. Do you have a small to average-sized property? A 21” sweeper is ideal for you, but if you have a large park, go for a 100” sweeper.
There are plenty of excellent lawn sweepers you can go with. Three of the best ones are:
- Agri-Fab 45-0492 Lawn Sweeper, 44-Inch
- Brinly STS-427LXH 20 Cubic Feet Tow Behind Lawn Sweeper, 42-Inch
- Ohio Steel 50SWP26 Pro Sweeper, 50″/26 cu. ft
What do you do with collected acorns?
Acorns on your lawn are unsightly, and if you live in a wildlife prone area, they attract squirrels and other animals.
Years ago, after collecting acorns from the yard, I used to throw them in the trash bin and wait for the garbage collector to collect them, but there are plenty of other ways you can use the collected acorns. Some of these ways include:
Use them for games: While you won’t need too many for this, they will reduce the number that you throw away. After collecting acorns, store a few of them that your kids can use to play checkers or any other game.
Make jelly: I went to Asia last year, and my host had made acorn jelly. While I didn’t like the taste and I’m skeptic about eating Asian food, if you are into it, you can press the acorns and make jelly out of them.
Donate them: Did you know the acorns that are a nuisance in your home are happily accepted in zoos and wildlife organizations? These organizations use acorns in food mixtures and sensory activities.
If you have a local animal shelter or zoo, contact them and ask them if they can collect them. If they don’t already have oak trees in their property, they will be more than thrilled to take them off your hands.
Use them as centerpieces: If you are crafty, you can use acorns as centrepieces to decorate your home. One of the ways of going about it is putting them in clear vases then placing the jars on the coffee table.
To attract more attention, toss the acorns in glitter before you put them in the clear vases. You can even give the acorns a coat of spray paint to make them more attractive.
Feed them to birds: Whole acorns are hard for birds and other yard critters to crack open. If you have time, place some acorns in a bag and smash them with a hammer. Roll the mixture in peanut butter then spread them onto a cardboard paper towel roll.
If there are birds in your area, they will flock on the roll, and within no time you won’t have acorns left.
Make a rustic wreath: Here you need to get simple wreath foam then gather a few acorns. Depending on the look you want, you can leave the caps on or remove them. Start hot gluing acorns onto the wreath foam in uniform lines until you fill in all the spaces.
You can leave the wreath rustic or add character to it by applying a coat of paint.
Start seedlings: Since you already have acorns, it’s easy to start seedlings. Soak the acorns in water to soften them then plant then in small cups just as you would other seeds.
You should then tend to them with light and water until they sprout. You can sell the seedlings to people looking to plant oak trees. The seedlings are also excellent gifts when celebrating life milestones such as weddings, birthdays, and baptism.