The Easiest Way To Pick Up Grass Clippings From Your Lawn

Are you tired of using a garden rake to gather endless piles of cut grass after spending hours mowing the lawn on hot summer days? 

If so, you’re probably wondering if there’s an easier way to scoop them up quickly and easily without tiring yourself out all over again. 

Thankfully, there’s a solution: the lawn sweeper! 

The easiest way to pick up grass clippings is by using a lawn sweeper. There are two main types of lawn sweepers: push sweepers and pull-behind sweepers. Push sweepers are meant to be pushed manually, while pull-behind sweepers are designed to be attached to the back of a riding mower.

To learn more about this ingenious device and which type is right for you, keep reading. 

There are lawn sweepers for all types of yards and budgets, so you’re sure to find one to suit you and your yard perfectly and make grass and leaf collection easier than ever. 

how to pick up grass clippings

What Is A Lawn Sweeper?

A lawn sweeper, also commonly known as a leaf sweeper or yard sweeper, is a garden tool designed to pick up debris in your yard, such as: 

  • Grass clippings 
  • Branches 
  • Leaves 
  • Twigs
  • Other organic matter

Most lawn sweepers typically have a wheeled mechanism with large brushes attached to an opening that feeds debris into the rear hopper, which is essentially just a bag.

When you roll or pull the sweeper’s wheels over the debris, the giant brushes start to rotate and scoop up any lawn clippings, leaves, twigs, and other material for you before transferring it into the bag attached to the back of the wheeled mechanism. 

The bag or hopper in the back typically has an easy way to open and empty it; either it detaches entirely or has a zipper or opening of some kind to quickly dump out the debris collected.

Lawn sweepers are by far the easiest way to pick up a lot of debris, such as cut grass quickly without much physical effort. 

You won’t need to rake the leaves across your yard for hours on end with a lawn sweeper; you just let it do the work for you!

Not all lawn sweepers are alike, though. 

They’re available in different sizes to fit differently sized lawns, and the wider the sweeper, the more quickly it can pick up debris like grass clippings. 

Many have slightly different methods of emptying the hopper and, most notably, there are three unique types of lawn sweepers on the market: 

  • Pull-behind sweepers 
  • Push sweepers 
  • Powered sweepers

Push Sweepers For Grass Clippings

The three different types of lawn sweepers mainly differ by how they’re meant to be operated.

A push sweeper is designed a lot like a push lawn mower; it has a long handle attached for you to simply push the device over the grass clippings in your yard manually once you’re done mowing. 

As you push the sweeper’s wheels over the blanket of grass clippings in your yard, the brushes scoop up the clippings and feed them into the hopper. 

When you’ve finished sweeping up all the grass clippings and other lawn debris, you’ll be able to open and empty the hopper, usually by detaching the bag, opening a zipper on the side, or some other simple means to make disposal quick and easy afterward. 

Manual push sweepers are generally the least expensive on the market and tend to be the most common. 

They’re also very straightforward to operate for people who have never owned one before, but they are also the most time-consuming to use. 

These sweepers are great for smaller yards or for those who don’t mind putting a bit of elbow grease into cleaning up their grass clippings after mowing. 

A great example of a push sweeper for smaller yards is Agri-Fab’s 26″-inch Push Sweeper, which has adjustable brushes and a collapsible hopper bag to store it quickly after use.

You may as well reuse your grass clippings too!

They add potassium back to your lawn (click the link to learn more).

Pull-Behind Sweepers For Grass Clippings

The second and arguably most popular type of lawn sweeper on the market is the pull-behind or tow-behind sweeper. 

These are designed to be attached to a riding mower or even a four-wheeler ATV with a simple hitch and pulled behind it, making cleanup after mowing quick and easy.

Pull-behind sweepers are also usually larger and broader than typical push sweepers, as they have the power of a mower to propel them rather than relying on you pushing them manually. 

As you’d probably imagine, these sweepers are more expensive yet highly popular for ease of use.

While there are many high-quality pull-behind sweepers from various manufacturers for sale, we highly recommend something like Agri-Fab’s 42″-inch Tow Lawn Sweeper

It’s quick and easy to assemble and even easier to empty when you’re done using it, as its hopper has a dumping rope you’ll be able to operate while still sitting on your mower.

If you want something a bit wider for a yard with more space, opt for a 50″-inch sweeper like Ohio Steel’s Pro Sweeper

A 50″-inch pull-behind sweeper like this one will make quick work of even the largest yards, and its multi-hitch height makes it easy to fit just about any tractor.

However, if you don’t have a riding mower or ATV to attach the sweeper, it’s best to opt for a push sweeper. 

It also isn’t recommended to use tow-behind sweepers if you have a tiny lawn, as due to their width and bulk, they are more challenging to maneuver in tight spaces.

Grass clippings also add nitrogen to the lawn, and for more ideas, click the link.

Powered Sweepers For Grass Clippings

The third type of yard sweeper, the powered sweeper, is generally the most expensive but is also the fastest and easiest to use out of the three. 

These sweepers have a motor powered by either gas or electricity, making them ideal for commercial use or on large areas of land such as on farms, in public parks, or even on golf courses. 

They are also recommended for yards with steep hills where using a push sweeper would be too difficult.

Many powered sweepers look very similar to push sweepers, though they require far less of your time and energy to propel them through your yard. 

Some also have the option of being able to be pulled behind a mower. 

They are available in various sizes, from as small as 12″ inches wide to 42″ inches or more.

Additionally, power sweepers often have added features to make sweeping large areas even easier, such as a shredder, which will chop up large debris with ease. 

They’re generally able to handle things like branches and dense leaves much more easily than push sweepers, which sometimes struggle with anything larger than grass clippings. 

Some powered sweepers will even pick up trash and rocks as well.

How Do You Empty A Lawn Sweeper?

Emptying the hopper on a lawn sweeper is usually just as easy as operating it, making cleanup a breeze, even if you’ve got a large amount of grass clippings and debris to contend with.

Keep in mind you’ll need to empty the sweeper regularly; how often you empty it will depend on the size of your yard and the amount of grass trimmings and debris, you need to pick up. 

It helps to empty it before the hopper gets too full, as an overfilled hopper is usually heavy and unwieldy to deal with, regardless of the type of sweeper it’s attached to.

Most sweepers have either an entirely detachable hopper or a zipper or compartment on the side to open it for emptying. 

Simply turn off the sweeper (if it’s a powered sweeper), detach or open the hopper, and empty its contents. 

Be sure to wear thick work gloves if your yard has a lot of plants with sharp thorns, as you’ll likely come in contact with them when you empty the hopper. 

It helps to empty the hopper onto a large tarp, making it much easier to transfer its contents into collection bags for disposal or a compost pile. 

Grass clippings make excellent compost, so consider composting them.

When you’re done, double-check to make sure you’ve emptied the hopper, and put the sweeper away in your garage or shed until the next time you need to use it. 

Disassemble any necessary parts for storage and keep them near the sweeper, so you don’t lose them.

Is A Lawn Sweeper Worth It?

Lawn sweepers are worth buying, as there are various options and styles to suit just about any type of yard, mowing schedule, or lifestyle. 

They’re also available at a wide range of different price points, so even if you’re on a budget, you’ll be able to find the right one for you.

Many sweepers will not only pick up excess grass clippings but are also able to deal with other debris like branches and leaves. 

They’re also able to handle both dry grass and wet grass with ease.

If you’ve got a small yard, not much storage space, and you don’t mind getting a bit of a workout from using your sweeper, a push sweeper is ideal. 

If you’ve got a lot of land to cover and have a riding mower or other kind of ATV, a tow-behind sweeper will suit your needs perfectly. Just hitch it up, and off you go!

Finally, if you want something to make quick work of your grass clippings and other debris without having to put much time and effort into the whole process, investing in a gas or electric-powered sweeper is a great idea.

All in all, using a lawn sweeper is the easiest way to pick up not only grass clippings but any other debris in your yard, making them very much worth buying.