Written by Jonathan Reed
October 8, 2020
Lawn and leaf vacs make short work of fallen foliage
We love our trees for the shade the offer, and the quiet rustling of leaves on a summer day. And even when those leaves turn to gold, crimson, and yellow hues, it’s a thing of beauty.
But when deciduous trees do their thing in the fall, maybe we don’t love them quite so much. There can be So. Many. Leaves. to clean up and find a home for.
Look up the definition of “lawn chore” and you’ll see a picture of someone raking leaves. (Well, it sure feels like it!). There’s the blisters from hours of rake wielding, and strained back muscles from moving the piles you create. Let’s not overlook the hours involved, either, or the problem of what to do with the leaves. (See sidebar below.)
Instead, you could let leaf and lawn vacuums do much of the work for you. While you ride or walk behind, these hard-working devices work just like a household vacuum, sucking up leaves and small twigs. Some include a built-in chipper/shredder forum to branch-sized sticks.
Because they move faster than you can possibly rake, you’ll find this annual chore is over in just hours, instead of days.
PECO makes a full range of both mounted and tow-behind lawn vacs, but they know that many acreage owners have both mowers and compact or subcompact tractors.
The Pro 22DFS is a unique solution for compact tractors. It is a fully mounted universal collection system that is great for any 2 or 4-wheel drive utility tractor with a category 1 3-point hitch. The vac’s aluminum box and cast aluminum components are lightweight and durable.
Its huge 22 cubic foot capacity fits mower decks up to 72 inches. Available in PTO or gas-powered models, this is the perfect complement to your tractor for fall cleanup chores.
New PECO Inc.
The Cyclone Rake Leaf Vacuums are designed to make tough jobs easy for home and acreage owners.. They have engineered rakes in five different sizes and power levels to handle everything from small residential lawns to large commercial properties. Cyclone Rakes come with a custom dual pin hitch which creates the shortest debris path available, so you have no clogging. And, with models ranging from 200 gallons to 415 gallons in capacity, your jobs will get finished in a fraction of the time.
The design of their Easy-Flow Connecter facilitates swift unloading—debris just falls out—and Cyclone Rakes won’t jackknife when backing up to a pile. Additionally, Cyclone Rakes fold flat for storage, and can hang on a garage or shop wall until next fall.
Woodland Power Products Inc.
The DR Leaf and Lawn Vacuum is the most powerful, easiest-to-use, and most versatile leaf and lawn vacuum available, the company claims. It tows behind your lawn tractor (while you mow) and inhales everything in its path to leave your lawn spotlessly clean.
Offering a full range of capacities, DR’s leaf and lawn vacuums are built to get the job done. The top-of-the-line DR PRO XL321 holds up to 321 gallons—and you can empty it all with just one hand, thanks to unique clamshell design. Powered by an 11.7 hp engine, you get the choice of manual of electric start. Plus, with the collector top removed, all DR vacs double as a high capacity utility trailer for four-season use.
DR Power Equipment
Mighty Mac Vacuums
Got plenty of leaves, but not a huge yard? Mighty Mac Vacuums make debris clean up easy with their push or self-propelled walk behind machines.
Mighty Mac’s vacuum suction is created by a 17-pound heavy duty commercial steel impeller, powered by a Briggs & Stratton XR Professional Series 250 cc engine. The high discharge design and top-loading collection bag of the VMS and VCB models mean more productive debris collection between bag dumps.
The wide 25” vac path and large four bushel collection bag complement six height adjustment settings, allowing you to position the vac snout at the perfect height for any condition or application.
The VCB models maintain a 2” chipping capacity for when you come across branches hidden in the leaves. An optional 8 foot vac hose kit lets you get to hard-to-reach areas such as between bushes, landscaped areas, gardens, flower beds, or any other tight spots that requires cleaning.
Leaving fallen leaves on your lawn can starve grass of vital air, water, and nutrients. Come spring, the dead spots created mean you’ll kick yourself for leaving them where they fell.
So, where do you put them?
1.Return them to natural areas—Dumping or blowing them back into woodland areas returns nutrients to those soils. Just move them deep into the forest, or they might blow back.
2.Compost leaves—Many of us will repeatedly run over them with our riding mower to mulch them—which is not a bad thing—but often there are often just too many. By adding collected leaves to your compost pile, you add nutrients and valuable tilth-building material to garden debris.
3.Use leaves as garden mulch—Try dumping collected leaves on your now-dormant garden. A heavy layer of leaves will protect against late fall weeds, and help autumn veggies and flowers produce to the end of the season.
Oh, you have pine needles instead? Some species take a long time to break down, making them ideal for mulches around shrubs and other plants to protect. Lawn and leaf vacs and blowers can save your back from the annual chore of moving pine needles to where they do the most good.