How to Grow Pumpkins – Pro Tips from Experts

How to Grow Pumpkins

Pumpkins are the quintessential fall fruit. From late September onward, they star on our plates in pies and soups and breads and pastas. They show up as pumpkin spice in our lattes and frappes. They adorn our homes as part of our fall decorations.

While they are abundantly available for purchase during the fall, they also make a fun and rewarding project for the garden. If you want to try your hand at growing pumpkins next growing season, read on to learn everything you need to know, including a few tips for getting the most out of your pumpkin plants.

How to Grow Pumpkins

Choose a time to plant

Planting your pumpkins starts with choosing the optimal time to sow them. This time depends upon where you live. A good rule of thumb is to sow your seeds in the ground a week or two after the average last day of frost for your area. The weather should be warm; the soil should be warm (Between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit), and the danger of frost should be past. You can look up the average first and last frost dates for your ZIP code here.

 

In addition, when deciding when to plant your pumpkins, you need to make sure you have a long enough growing season. Pumpkins take a long time to grow: 90 days or longer. Northern states might not have enough time to grow pumpkins outdoors, and as a result, you may need to start your pumpkins indoors about three weeks before the last frost (more on that in the next section). In southern states, you may have a longer growing season, in which case, you can choose when to plant your pumpkins (I.e. in time to harvest your crop for Halloween or other fall festivities). 

 

In order to know how much time to allow for growing your pumpkins, check your seed packet. Each variety of pumpkin will have its own growing time.  

Choose a location to plant your pumpkins

Before you actually sow your seeds, you also need to decide where to grow your pumpkins. There are two requirements for your growing location: Space and sunlight.

Space

While there are miniature and brush-like varieties of pumpkins, the traditional vined varieties require significant space to grow. As a result, you should plan about 10 feet between pumpkin hills. If space is tight, you can direct the vines, while they are still young, to grow over the hill into the grass or sidewalk. You can also trellis your vines, but you will need to manage the heavy pumpkins as they grow. 

Sunlight

Pumpkins can grow in partial shade. However, they prefer about 12 hours of direct sunlight every day. Therefore, pick a spot that is as sunny as possible to keep your soil warm and your pumpkin plants thriving.

Prepare your soil for planting

Pumpkins require high levels of nutrients in the soil to thrive. As a result, you will want to start with soil that is as rich and loose as possible.

 

From there, you should amend your soil before planting your pumpkins. Amending the soil means adding nutrient-rich materials to it. The less nutrient-rich your original soil is, the more amendments you should add. These are some of the most popular amendments

  • Leaf mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Straw
  • Fertilizer 

 

When amending your soil, make sure to work the amendments deep into the soil: At least a couple of feet. In addition, add them well before the growing season begins. Allowing a month or two for the amendments to break down will leave your soil nutrient-rich and ready to feed your pumpkins. 

 

Make sure to keep your soil deep and loose to allow for optimal access to sun and water and optimal growth once your pumpkin seeds are planted. 

Prepare your seeds for planting

When it comes time to plant your pumpkin seeds, you can also take steps to encourage germination. For example, you can gently file the edges of the seeds, and/or place them in  water for a couple of hours. These steps should soften the seed and make it easier for the young pumpkin plant to emerge. 

Start your seedlings inside

You do not need to start your pumpkins inside. In fact,there is some evidence that pumpkins grow better when they are sown directly into the ground. 

 

However, starting your pumpkins inside can effectively lengthen your available growing season, and may be a necessity in northern climes where the growing season is shorter. 

 

To start your pumpkins inside, sow them about three weeks before your typical last frost. You want them to be about 3 inches tall and have two sets of leaves when you transplant them outside. 

 

Use a 2-3 inch pot that is biodegradable. That way, you can plant the pit directly into the ground at transplant time.

 

Place two seeds in each pot, about 1 inch down. Tamp the soil down over it and water gently. Once the plants germinate, you can remove the weakest one to allow the stronger one to keep growing. Keep the plants in direct sunlight for 12 hours a day. 

 

Before you transplant the seedlings outside, make sure to harden them off. This refers to the process of exposing them to cooler temperatures so they can survive outside. Sit them outside for a few hours to start. Gradually increase their time outside until they can tolerate the overnight temperatures. Just make sure not to expose them to freezing temperatures, since not even hardened pumpkins can endure those temps.  

 

For a fun and creative way to start your pumpkin seeds, you can also try this method:

 

YouTube link:

 

Plant your seeds

When it is time to plant your seeds (or seedlings), create hills in the amended soil. In the center of each hill, dig a hole about 1 inch deep.

 

Plant up to 4 seeds (or one seedling) in each of these holes. Eventually, you will thin your seedlings out, but in the beginning, you want to ensure that you get at least one strong plant to grow in each hill.

 

Make sure, when building these hills, to leave 8-10 feet between them for vined pumpkin varieties, and about 3 feet for smaller or bushier varieties. Your seed packet may be able to tell you how much space your particular variety requires.

 

Once the seeds have been placed in the hole, gently cover the hole with dirt. For seedlings, cover the pot with dirt but make sure to leave the leaves exposed to the sunlight. 

 

YouTube link: 

 

Water your pumpkins

From the moment you plant your pumpkin seeds, your pumpkins will require generous amounts of water. You should plan to give them 1 inch of water a week.

 

Start watering them immediately after planting the seeds. Here are some tips for effective watering of your pumpkins:

  • Water in the morning to allow the leaves to dry off as the weather warms.
  • Avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can lead to mildew. 
  • Use the mist setting on your garden hose.
  • Water until the soil is moist at least 6 inches deep. 
  • Add mulch or straw around the base of the plants to help retain moisture.

Protect your pumpkins from pests

There are many pests that will want to eat your pumpkins. One of the most effective ways to deter them is to use garden cloth or covers over your pumpkins. These lightweight covers allow sun and water but not bugs to get access to the plants. Always remove these covers once your plants blossom to allow for pollination. You can also inspect your pumpkins regularly for bugs and remove any bugs or eggs you find.

Thin your seedlings

After your pumpkins sprout, you will need to thin them to 1 or 2 plants per hill. To avoid damaging the roots of the plants you intend to keep, clip the top off the plants you do not wish to keep instead of pulling them up. Always choose the strongest, healthiest plant to keep. 

Keep your pumpkins fertilized

Your pumpkin plants will want lots of food as they grow. As a result, fertilize your pumpkins weekly after they sprout. A 5-10-5 fertilizer should work well, although you can get more specific as your experience with growing pumpkins increases. Make sure to switch from nitrogen-based in the beginning to a phosphorus-based fertilizer when the flowers bloom, to a potassium-rich fertilizer once the pumpkins appear.  

 

When applying the fertilizer, place it about 8 inches from the base of the pumpkin plant. Use only a small amount of fertilizer. Too much fertilizer can burn the plant, so less is more when feeding your pumpkin plants. 

Prune your pumpkins

As your pumpkins begin to grow, you may want to prune your plants in order to create larger pumpkins. Pruning forces the plant to devote its energy to fewer vines and pumpkins so that those vines and pumpkins grow larger and healthier.  

 

As a result, once your pumpkins start to grow, consider doing the following pruning:

  • Pinch off the ends of the vines to prevent further vine growth.
  • Remove all but a few pumpkins to increase the size of those pumpkins. 

Turn your pumpkins

As your pumpkins ripen, they will begin to turn a deep orange (or whatever color your variety happens to be). To encourage your pumpkin to color evenly, turn it daily. In addition, you can prevent rot and attack from pests by getting the pumpkin off the ground and resting it on a piece of cardboard. 

Harvest your pumpkins

Finally, the best part of growing pumpkins will come: The harvest. A pumpkin is ripe when the vines begin to die away, the orange is a deep color, and the rind is hard when you press on it. 

 

In order to harvest your pumpkin, cut it off the vine. Do not pull or twist it. Leave about 4 inches of stem on the pumpkin in order to prevent decay. 

 

Once harvested, you can store your pumpkins in a cool, dry place or put them immediately to work as decorations or as delightful fall fare. 

 

Nothing says fall quite like pumpkins. Next year, consider bringing fall right to your garden by growing your favorite variety of pumpkin. 

 

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Is Pumpkin a Fruit?

Is Pumpkin a Fruit

Fall fruits delight our taste buds. Cranberries appear in cranberry relish or cran-apple crisp. Apples occupy our tables in the form of applesauce and apple pie. The fall bounty of fruit includes everything from berries to melons to…pumpkins?

 

Pumpkins, of course, are a fall staple. They can be confusing, though. They can be cooked like a vegetable (hello pumpkin soup and ravioli) and like a fruit (pumpkin pie, anyone?). They are usually referred to as a squash and sometimes as a gourd. Their flavor dominates fall in everything from cereal to lattes. But what ARE they?

 

The simple answer, of course, is that pumpkin is, in fact, a fruit. Before you counter with your favorite pumpkin as a veggie recipe though, read on to find out a little more about this mysterious and delicious fall food.

Pumpkin is, technically, a fruit

First, let’s start with a definition. According to Merriam Webster, a fruit is “the usually edible reproductive body of a seed plant.” According to botanists, this means that a fruit possesses the following characteristics:

  • Fruit has seeds.
  • Fruit develops from the flower of the plant.

 

Anything that has seeds and develops from a flower, then, is a fruit. If you have ever carved a pumpkin, you know that it contains seeds. You would have had to dig those seeds out, along with the long, stringy insides. Hopefully, you have also enjoyed those same seeds lightly oiled, salted, and baked in the oven to make a special fall treat.

 

A pumpkin also forms from the flower of the pumpkin plant. Those beautiful orange flowers die away, and leave behind the tiny pumpkins, which quickly grow into the large fall delights with which we are familiar.

 

Clearly, then, pumpkins meet the criteria for fruit. According to botany, pumpkin is a fruit.

Pumpkin is often prepared like a vegetable

However, you might argue, and rightly so, that a pumpkin does not taste like a fruit. It has a mild flavor that is often paired with spices in savory dishes like pumpkin soup. Even pumpkin pie makes use of spices like nutmeg and ginger, and lacks the bright, cloying sweetness of other fruit pies.

 

This disparity between pumpkin’s official classification and how it is treated in the kitchen can be confusing. In fact, while botanists will classify a pumpkin as a fruit because it has seeds and develops from a flower, chefs often classify the pumpkin as a vegetable because it lacks the sweetness of a fruit and because it can be prepared much like other vegetables.

 

This disparity isn’t limited to pumpkins. Many foods we call vegetables are technically fruits. For example, beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, avocados, and even peppers are technically fruits. They contain seeds and develop from flowers.

 

The reason these fruits are classified in the kitchen and by many non botanists as vegetables is because of their lack of sweetness. You would never make an avocado pie, after all (that would be a waste of good guacamole). Pumpkin is treated the same way: Its lack of sweetness gives it the reputation of a vegetable in non botanist circles.

Pumpkin is also a squash, and a gourd

While we are throwing labels on pumpkin, we should add a couple more. Regardless of whether you call a pumpkin a fruit or a vegetable, everyone agrees that pumpkin is a squash, and a gourd.

 

It may be time for more definitions. A squash is a plant in the Cucurbitaceae family. These plants are characterized by their lack of vines. All of these plants produce what is considered fruits from a botanical standpoint. Just like pumpkin, they contain seeds and develop from the flower of the plant.

 

Squash is generally divided into two groups. The first group is summer squash and includes popular squash like zucchini and yellow squash. The second group is winter squash, which includes popular squash like butternut squash. They are often characterized by bright colors, hard shells, fleshy insides full of seeds, and, of course, their mild flavors.

 

Typically, every part of the squash plant is edible. This means you can eat the flowers and stems of your favorite squash plant (like the pumpkin) as well as the fleshy insides, the seeds, and the rind.

 

While a plate of prepared pumpkin flowers might be an edible, if odd, dish, however, people are usually most interested in that delectable inside part. That part of the pumpkin is often prepared as a vegetable, despite technically being a fruit.

 

Within the squash family area some plants referred to as gourds. These hard-shelled fruits are sometimes ornamental and sometimes edible. The pumpkin is part of this family of gourds. While it can be used as an ornamental gourd, it is, of course, more commonly used as a culinary delight.

No matter what you call it, pumpkin is delicious

Deciding how to classify the pumpkin can be confusing. This delicious orange fall delight, however, is, indeed, a fruit, at least from a botanical perspective. Just don’t forget about its vegetable flavor and preparation when cooking it. Savory pumpkin dishes can make wonderful additions to your fall meals. And remember, this fruit is also a squash and a gourd.

 

No matter what you call it, the pumpkin is a flavorful part of a fall diet. Need some ideas for how to prepare this fall fruit? Try these:

  • Pumpkin pie
  • Pumpkin soup
  • Pumpkin bread
  • Pumpkin cheesecake
  • Pumpkin pancakes
  • Pumpkin pasta
  • Stuffed pumpkin
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds

 

As a rich source of dietary fiber, potassium, beta-carotene, and Vitamin A, pumpkin is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense addition to your culinary efforts. Its seeds are also good for you. In just one cup of pumpkin seeds, you get about 12 grams of protein. Pumpkin is, in short, a nutritious and delicious fruit.

 

No matter how you choose to eat this fall fruit, you are sure to enjoy its rich flavor and versatility. Make sure to add some pumpkin to your life before the fall season ends.

10 Best Self Propelled Lawn Mowers 2019

best self propelled lawn mower

Self-driving cars may be on the cutting edge of technology, but self-propelled lawn mowers are well-established inhabitants of the garden shed. These convenient machines drive themselves forward when you squeeze the handlebar. With one motion, you eliminate the backbreaking work of forcing a push mower forward.

best self propelled lawn mower

Most mowers today are self-propelled. However, not ever self-propelled lawn mower is created equal. There are definitely a few models that stand out. Read on to find out which they are, and get some useful information about what to look for and how to choose one for yourself.

Top 10 Self Propelled Lawn Mowers for 2019

There are a few brands whose self-propelled lawn mowers are almost all good choices. Honda, Toro, and Troy-Bilt are among the best. If you want a closer look at the top self-propelled lawn mowers on the market, check out this list of the 10 leaders for 2019.

1. Honda 4-in-1 Versamow Self-Propelled Lawn Mower–Best Premium Product

The Honda 4-in-1 self-propelled lawn mower offers a wide variety of features in addition to a variable-speed self-propulsion system. For added safety, the engine shuts off and the mower stops moving when the flywheel released.

 

It is considered a 4-in-1 mower because it canulch, bag, discharge, or leaf shred. It also offers you a 3-position handle for greater comfort, and a foldable handle that makes storage more compact.

 

This self-propelled lawn mower features a Nextite deck that is intended not to corrode and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. The mower itself comes with a 5-year warranty. It also has a 2.5 bushel bag for ample storage of grass clippings. A micro cut twin blade system also cuts grass 30 percent smaller.

 

Blade height can be set to 7 different heights, between .75 inches and 4 inches. An auto choke feature makes it easy to start on the firstborn second try.

 

The only downside to this self-propelled lawn mower is the relatively high cost.

 

Pros:

  • Variable speed
  • Micro cut twin blades
  • Variable blade height
  • String warranties
  • 4-in-1 mower

 

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

2. Honda HRR216VKA (21″) 160cc 3-In-1 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower–Best Overall Product

This self-propelled lawn mower combines the power and reliability of a Honda engine with the convenience and safety of self-propulsion. The Smart Drive system allows you to select any speed between 0 and 4MPH while automatically shutting off when you let go of the lever.

 

In addition, this mower has six adjustable blade heights that allow you to cut your grass between 1 ⅛ inches long and 4 inches long. Its versatility also allows it to handle mulching, bagging, or simply discharging the cut grass. A 2.4 bushel bag offers plenty of storage capacity so you need to stop and empty the bag less often.

 

This self-propelled lawn mower also uses micro cut twin blades for a finer chop of the grass. Other features include a two-position handle that also folds down for more compact storage, a non slip handle grip, and a 12-gauge steel deck. It earns strong reviews for its ease of starting.

 

Things to watch out for with this mower include the fact that the twin blades can be difficult to sharpen.

 

Pros:

  • Variable speed
  • Variable blade height
  • Auto shut off
  • Ease of start

 

Cons:

  • Blades can be difficult to sharpen

3. PowerSmart Gas Self-Propelled Mower–Best Product for Budget

This gas-powered, self-propelled lawn mower features rear wheel drive and maneuverability that allows it to make tight turns and handle uneven terrain. An adjustable handle makes it comfortable for people of all sizes to use.

 

This mower features a 20-inch wide cutting deck and the ability to mulch, bag, or side discharge the grass. Its dome is specially designed to improve its mulching ability. It receives strong reviews from customers for its ease of use.

 

This mower can cut at a variety of heights, from 1.18 inches to 3.15 inches. The one downside to this self-propelled lawn mower is the fact that it moves too quickly for some customers.

4. Toro Recycler® SmartStow (22″) 163cc Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

This self-propelled lawn mower has a relatively wide 22-inch mowing path for faster cutting. Its self-propelling abilities are driven by a 163 cc engine.

 

This self-propelled lawn mower also includes convenience features, like no change oil. It’s handle folds down for more compact storage. This mower is variable speed. Unfortunately, you can expect a front wheel drive, which could make going over uneven terrain or making turns more difficult.

 

This self-propelled lawn mower mulches as well as bags the grass. It generally starts easily, but may have difficulty starting if the gas is low.

 

Pros:

  • No change oil
  • Variable speed
  • Wide cutting path

 

Cons:

  • Front wheel drive
  • May not start if gas is low

5. Troy-Bilt TB220 High Wheel Self Propelled Lawn Mower

This self-propelled lawn mower from Troy-Bilt combines an ability to handle rough terrain with versatility. The self-propulsion also combines with an extremely lightweight design to earn consistent praise from reviewers for its ease of use.

 

This self-propelled lawn mower is a 3-in-1 machine, which means that it can bag (in a 1.9 bushel bag), mulch, or side discharge the grass. It also offers blade height choices between 1.25 inches and 3.75 inches. It’s tires are designed to provide traction in suboptimal yard conditions.

 

For a finer and more even cut, this self-propelled lawn mower uses a tri-cut system. For peace of mind, it offers a 2-year warranty.

 

Things to look out for with this machine is a lack of variable speed and a relatively small collection bag.

 

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Tire design for rough terrain
  • 3-in-1 mulch, bag, discharge capability
  • Tri-cut system
  • 2-year warranty

 

Cons:

  • Lack of variable speed
  • Relatively small collection bag

6. Husqvarna Gas-Powered Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

This Husqvarna self-propelled lawn mower is built to handle rough yards and conditions. A Honda engine provides reliable power, while all-wheel drive makes it easier to maneuver over hilly, steep, or muddy ground. It possesses a respectable 21-inch cutting width and a 15-gauge steel deck for durability.

 

This self-propelled lawn mower does not come with variable speed drive and can run slow. The bag is adequately sized. This machine does get strong reviews for its ability to handle sub optimal yard conditions and for its ability to mulch. In addition, the tire treads are specially designed for tough or hilly yards.

 

Pros:

  • Wide cutting width
  • All-wheel drive
  • Good mulcher

 

Cons:

  • Lack of variable speed drive
  • Slow
  • May be shipped damaged

7. Poulan Pro Power Series Gas 3-N-1 Lawnmower

This Poulan self-propelled lawn mower is an electric push start mower. There is no cord to pull to make it simple for anyone to start. A powerful 174 cc engine is powered by a lithium ion battery that can go up to 75 starts before needing to be recharged.

 

This mower also has a wide cutting deck, at 22 inches. It can handle bagging, mulching, and side discharging for greater convenience and has extra-large 11-inch wheels for greater maneuverability over rough terrain.

 

This mower only has front wheel drive, which could make handling and turning it more difficult. Electric mowers also tend to be less powerful than gas powered mowers.

 

Pros:

  • Extra-large wheels
  • Push start
  • Wide cutting deck

 

Cons:

  • Electric mower
  • Front wheel drive

8. Greenworks Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower

This Greenworks self-propelled lawn mower operates with a 40-volt lithium-ion battery and starts with the push of a button. While the run time on each battery is short (about 20 minutes), the mower can house two batteries at once. As a result, you can easily get twice the mow time without having to replace the batteries.

 

This self-propelled lawn mower has a wide 21-inch cutting deck and can bag, mulch, or side discharge grass. For compact storage, the handle folds down so the mower can be stored vertically.

 

The short run time is a downside in this mower. In addition, customers often find that the batteries are difficult to remove from the battery compartment.

 

Pros:

  • Push start
  • Two-battery housing
  • Compact storage

 

Cons:

  • Short run time
  • Difficult battery access

9. Yard Machines Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

This self-propelled lawn mower is a gas-powered tool with the ability to both mulch and side discharge grass. Unlike many similar lawn mowers, this machine does not bag the grass, which can be an inconvenience for some customers.

 

This mower has a 21-inch wide deck, which is generally wide enough for small to medium sized yards. It has an adjustable handle but only goes at one speed. The blade height, however, can be adjusted between 1.25 and 3.75 inches. It has a 159 cc engine and comes with a 2-year warranty for peace of mind.

 

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable handle
  • Adjustable blade height
  • 2-year warranty

 

Cons:

  • No bag
  • One speed

10. Lawn-Boy Kohler Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

The Kohler Self-Propelled Lawn Mower from Lawn-Boy features rear wheel drive. As a result, it is easier to maneuver around rough or uneven ground.

 

In addition to its maneuverability, this gas-powered, self-propelled lawn mower has a satisfactorily wide 21-inch cutting deck.

 

One of the features that makes this self-propelled lawn mower stand out is the 3-year Tru-Start Commitment that guarantees the mower will start on the first or second pull for at least three years. In addition, the mower comes with a 2-year full coverage warranty.

 

This mower can handle grass in three ways: Mulching, bagging, or side discharging. The blades can be set at one of only two heights, which is less than many similar mowers, and the price is a little high for the features you get in this self-propelled lawn mower.

 

Pros:

  • 3-year Tru-Start Commitment
  • Rear wheel drive

 

Cons:

  • Only two blade height options
  • Price a little high for features

What Is a Self Propelled Lawn Mower?

As its name suggests, a self-propelled lawn mower is a lawn mower that drives itself. When the user activates the speed control lever (which is usually a bar under the handle), the transmission moves the drive wheels. As a result, the mower moves forward on its own. All the user has to do is continue compressing the lever and guide the mower around the yard.

 

The self-propelled lawn mower does not require the user to push it. As a result, these machines are great labor savers. You can purchase them with a number of features, including variable speeds, multiple options for mulching or bagging, and automatic choke recovery systems to make it easier to start them.

 

As an added bonus, many self-propelled lawn mowers will automatically stop moving and shut off when you release the lever. This safety feature helps prevent potentially serious accidents should you fall while using the mower or encounter a hazard such as a child running in front of your mower.

How to Choose a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Some features of a self-propelled lawn mower, like price, are a matter of personal preference. Others, however, really do offer an advantage when you are choosing the right mower for your lawn. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a self-propelled lawn mower.

Variable Speed

Variable speed lets you choose how fast your mower goes. If you struggle physically or need to tackle particularly long grass, you can choose a slower speed, for example. Buying a variable speed self-propelled lawn mower, then, gives you flexibility and can deliver a more comfortable mowing experience.

Gas Vs. Electric Power

This is one of those categories that is a matter of personal preference. Gas-powered lawn mowers are more powerful, mow longer, and cost less upfront than do electric mowers. You also never need to worry about cords or recharging batteries. However, electric mowers are better for the environment and cost less over the long-term.

Recoil vs. Push Start

Starting a lawn mower has cost owners untold hours of frustration over the years. Now some self-propelled lawn mowers come with a push start instead. However, many mowers that use recoil start now come with features like auto choke that make it easier to start the engine with one or two pulls of the cord.

Rear Wheel Drive

Self-propelled lawn mowers usually come with either front wheel or rear wheel drive. Rear wheel drive is preferable, because the rear wheels are always on the ground. This means you always enjoy driving force even when turning or lifting the front wheels off the ground to navigate uneven terrain.

Blade Override System

Almost every self-propelled lawn mower will automatically stop the blades when you let go of the lever. However, they often stop the motor too. This means you have to restart the mower every time you pick up a stick or stone in the yard. A blade override system, however, will stop the blades but keep the mower running when you let go of the handle. This convenience feature costs more but might be worth it.

FAQs

To help you learn more about self-propelled lawn mowers, here are a few commonly-asked questions.

 

Are self-propelled lawn mowers safe to use?

Self-propelled lawn mowers are very safe to use, thanks to their ability to turn off automatically when you let go of the handle.

What powers a self-propelled lawn mower?

A self-propelled lawn mower is powered by electricity (battery or cord) or gas. Gas provides more power, but electricity is more environmentally friendly and makes the mower easier to start.

What kind of maintenance do self-propelled lawn mowers require?

The maintenance for a self-propelled lawn mower will depend upon the mower. The mower you choose should come with instructions. However, basic steps such as changing the oil, keeping the mower full of gas, and cleaning the mower after every use will help you to get as much life as possible out of your machine.

Conclusion

Self-propelled lawn mowers offer you a way to easily maneuver your mower with less effort. The best ones give you a wide cutting deck, easy starts, variable speeds, variable blade heights, and more. When you are ready to invest in a convenient yard tool, check out our list of the top 10 self-propelled mowers on the market today.

Top 10 Best Garden Hose Reels 2019

Best Garden Hose Reel

A garden hose reel is the most important garden tool you’ve never thought about. You have probably either bought the cheapest one you could find or just used whatever reel happened to fall into your possession. 

Even worse, maybe you have never used a garden hose reel before. In that case, you know what it is like to struggle to coil the hose after every use. It is time consuming and inconvenient. 

In either case, you need a good garden hose reel. Here are some of the benefits this important garden tool offers:

  • A garden hose reel saves you time over coiling the hose by hand.
  • A garden hose reel prevents damage to your lawn from having the hose laying in the grass.
  • A garden hose reel prevents tripping over your hose.
  • A garden hose reel lengthens the life of your hose.
  • A garden hose reel makes your yard look neater.

Best Garden Hose Reel

If you don’t yet have a garden hose reel, you will want to buy one as soon as possible. If you do have one, you may want to explore your options to see if another, better one is out there. 

Either way, you want to start with the best options available. To get you started, we have compiled a list of this year’s best garden hose reels.

8 Best Garden Hose Reels of 2019

Price is important, but there are other features that make a garden hose reel the best. From retractable coilng to wall-mounted convenience, all of these reels stand out for their high quality and ability to make your life easier.

1. Eley Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel – Best Overall Product

This Eley garden hose reel is one of the most expensive reels on the market but also one of the most heavy duty ones. This reel is made of aluminum instead of steel to prevent rusting. In addition, it is designed for smooth coiling of up to 150 feet of ⅝ inch hose or 100 feet of ¾ inch hose (hose not included).

To make it simple to uncoil the amount of hose you want, it features a cam lock that prevents the entire length of hose from unreeling without impeding your ability to pull the length you want. 

The Eley garden hose reel mounts to the wall vertically or horizontally. It can also be mounted to make coiling and uncoiling simpler for both right handed and left handed individuals. A 10-year warranty guarantees the quality of this item for a full decade. 

The Eley garden hose also comes with strong metal fittings designed to be crush and leak proof. The only downsides to consider with this product are its price and the fact that it is not decorative in appearance. 

 

Pros

  • Aluminum construction
  • Versatile mounting
  • Sturdy fittings
  • 10-year warranty

 

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Non decorative

2. Coxreels Steel Hand Crank Hose Reel – Best Premium Product 

The Coxreels steel hand crank garden hose reel is one of the leading industrial strength reels on the market today. It consists of a powder coated steel “A” frame that is all one piece. As a result, it does not have bolts that can rust. 

In addition, this garden hose reel, which can hold 100 feet of hose (hose not included), has a specialized design to prevent crimping in the hose. Features like rolled edges, ribbed discs, and brass or nickel plated swivels allow it to handle pressures of up to 3,000 psi.

This reel mounts to a wall and possesses swivels that rotate 90 degrees so you can attach or remove a hose without needing to take the reel off the wall. 

Buyers should be aware that this reel needs adaptors to fit standard garden hoses. In addition, this is a manual crank reel, without automatic coiling abilities, and it is the most expensive reel on the list.

 

Pros

  • Industrial strength steel design
  • High pressure capabilities
  • Mountable

 

Cons

  • Requires adaptors for garden hoses
  • Very expensive
  • Manual crank

3. RL Flo-Master Retractable Garden Hose Reel – Best for Budget

This Flo-Master retractable garden hose reel is a great deal because it includes a 65-foot, ⅝ inch hose along with the reel. 

The reel itself is constructed primarily of plastic, which can make it less durable than its aluminum or steel counterparts. This product does receive some negative reviews for leaking shortly after purchase. 

This garden hose reel mounts to the wall and swivels 180 degrees for greater convenience. It retracts slowly and includes a hose stopper to ensure you can get the hose in and out with ease. 

 

Pros

  • Included hose
  • 180-degree swivel
  • Retractable
  • Low price

 

Cons

  • Plastic construction
  • Prone to leakage

Liberty Garden 4-Wheel Hose Cart

Instead of mounting to the wall, this Liberty Garden hose reel comes as a cart supported by four pneumatic tires. Made entirely of 13-gauge, 1.5 inch steel, it is intended to be sturdy. A powder coating helps this garden hose reel resist damage from inclement weather conditions. 

 

This garden hose reel holds a hefty 250 feet of ⅝ inch hose (not included). Fittings are galvanized brass. 

 

The primary downside to this product is the fact that it is made of steel, which is more likely to rust than is aluminum. One other downside is the fact that it received some negative reviews for the durability of the steel.

 

Pros:

  • Sturdy tire support
  • Powder coating
  • Large storage capacity

 

Cons:

  • Steel construction may make it more prone to rusting
  • Occasional damage to frame or inlet hose

Liberty Garden Industrial 4-Wheel Garden Hose Reel

This garden hose reel from Liberty Garden is designed for toughness and durability in big yards. It is made of powder coated steel with galvanized brass fittings. It sits on four 8-inch pneumatic tires for stability and maneuverability. It also possesses a low center of gravity to make it less likely to tip over when being moved or when the hose is being pulled off the reel.

 

In addition to its maneuverability, it has significant storage capacity. It can hold up to 300 feet of ⅝ inch hose (hose not included). It comes with a 5-foot leader hose and a swivel connector that can move 90 degrees. For greater convenience of handling, it comes with a non slip handle grip and a storage shelf. For peace of mind, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty. 

 

The biggest downside to this garden hose reel is the steel construction which makes it more prone to rusting. 

 

Pros:

  • Convenience features like a storage shelf and non slip handle
  • Sturdy tire support
  • Powder coating
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Large storage capacity

 

Cons:

  • Steel construction which makes it prone to oxidation and rust

Suncast Powerwind 100-Foot Garden Hose Reel

This Suncast garden hose reel is a battery-operated retractable garden hose reel. It uses a rechargeable 12-volt battery to retract the hose when you press a pedal.

 

This garden hose reel has a smaller capacity than do some other garden hose reels, holding up to 100 feet of ⅝ inch hose (hose not included). Its mostly plastic construction may also impact its long-term durability, especially since the fittings are also plastic.

 

However, this garden hose reel comes with convenience features like a tilting tray that can store small gardening items, and a manual back up crank. 

 

The battery earns strong reviews for its durability, with one charge being sufficient for the majority of the season. Each battery can be recharged up to 20 times. 

 

Pros:

  • Battery-operated retraction
  • Rechargeable 12-volt battery
  • Storage tray
  • Back up crank

 

Cons:

  • Plastic construction
  • Smaller storage capacity compared to other garden hose reels

Liberty Garden Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel

This mounted garden hose reel from Liberty Garden is designed to be beautiful as well as functional. Its aluminum body is less likely to rust, and powder coating makes it extra durable. A spiral design on the body makes this a pretty as well as a practical addition to the yard. 

 

The garden hose reel can hold up to 125 feet of ⅝ inch hose. Brass fittings add extra durability. A storage shelf holds garden tools and items, while the reel also comes fully assembled. All that needs to be attached is the handle. 

 

Downsides to this product are customer complaints of leakage as well as the fact that mounting hardware is not included.

 

Pros:

  • Beautiful design
  • Brass fittings
  • Fully assembled

 

Cons:

  • Customer complaints of leakage
  • Mounting hardware not included

Suncast Aquawinder Wicker Garden Hose Reel

This Suncast garden hose reel combines beauty and functionality by hiding the hose inside a resin wicker basket. Even better, it works by using water pressure to automatically rewind the hose. All you do is flip a switch to start the process.

 

This garden hose reel houses up to 200 feet of ⅝ inch vinyl hose (hose not included). A Smart Trak system helps to prevent tangling of the hose as it winds. 

 

This garden hose reel does receive some negative reviews for the durability of the plastic Smart Trak system. In addition, this tool does expel up to 6 gallons of water during use. 

 

Pros:

  • Beautiful design
  • Hands-free winding

 

Cons:

  • Smart Trak prone to breakage
  • Use of water during winding process

 

How to Choose a Garden Hose Reel

When looking at a list of garden hose reel, how do you identify the best ones for your yard? While personal preference plays a big role, there are some factors you need to consider before you buy.

How to Choose the Best Garden Hose Reel

Capacity

Each garden hose reel will hold a specific length of hose. A typical length is between 100-150 feet. Before you buy a garden hose reel, take the hose length capacity into consideration. If you have an average-sized lawn, you probably only need 100 feet of storage. If your yard is big, however, you may want to invest in a garden hose reel with 200 or even 300 feet of storage capacity.

Manual vs Retractable

Most garden hose reels require you to wrap the hose up using a manual crank. Some, however, use battery power or water pressure to retract the hose. Before buying a garden hose reel, consider whether you can physically handle manual coiling or whether you want the convenience of a retractable garden hose reel.

Portability

Wall mounted garden hose reels take up less space and look good. However, they are not as portable as those on wheels. Before you buy a garden hose reel, think about whether you need that portability to get the job done. 

Durability

Naturally, you want your garden hose reel to last as long as possible. To that end, take the time to find a durable reel. For example, consider the material from which the frame is made, the material from which the fittings are made, warranties, and customer reviews. 

FAQs

Before you head out to buy one of the 8 best garden hose reels on our list, you may find you have some questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about garden hose reels. 

What is the most important feature to have in a garden hose reel? 

As you have seen, there are a number of features to consider in a garden hose reel. The most important feature, however, is probably the quality of the materials. No matter how it looks or how easy it is to use, you need a garden hose reel that will last for years. 

Why do I need a garden hose reel?

Spending money on a garden hose reel might seem a little silly. You can always just coil your hose on itself to store it. The reality, however, is that a reel saves you time and effort. Faster than coiling a hose by hand, it also looks nicer and, most importantly, extends the life of your hose. 

How do garden hose reels extend the life of my hose? 

A hose may actually last you longer if you use a garden hose reel. When left on the ground, the hose can more easily become dried out or wet from being in contact with the ground. Changes in temperature and dryness can lead to splitting and leaks in the hose. In addition, a hose left carelessly in the yard may be accidentally run over by a lawn mower.

 

A garden hose reel prevents these problems by keeping your hose dry and secure off the ground. As a result, it allows the hose to last longer and require less frequent replacement. 

How often should I replace my garden hose reel?

If you purchase a high quality garden hose reel, you shouldn’t have to replace it very often. The best reels can go a decade or even longer when cared for properly. If you want peace of mind about how long your reel will last, choose one of the best garden hose reels on the market and select a warranty plan that covers your reel for a number of years. 

Where should I mount my garden hose reel?

If you choose a mountable garden hose reel, you should place it in a location that maximizes the reach of your hose. Many people choose to place it inside their garage to protect it from the elements or they place it outside the garage along one of the wooden frames. Wherever you place it, make sure it is near a spigot and easily accessible.

Conclusion

A garden hose reel can be a useful addition to your yard tool collection. By extending the life of your hose and saving you time, it can even save you money over the long term. Just make sure you buy a high quality item that will last you for many years. With beauty, functionality, storage, and more, our list of the 8 best garden hose reels should get your decision making off to a good start. 

Top 8 Best Lawn Aerators 2019

Best Lawn Aerator

Lawn aeration may just be the most important lawn care routine you have never heard of. In order for grass to thrive, it needs to have access to nutrients in the soil. Part of its ability to access these nutrients depends on its ability to reach down into the soil. Seems simple, right? That is what the roots are for.

Best Lawn Aerator

A problem occurs, however, when the soil becomes dense or compacted. At these times, it can be difficult for grass to obtain the nutrients it needs. Signs that your grass may be suffering from compacted soil are the following:

  • Thinning
  • Yellowing
  • Dryness
  • Soil that feels hard to the touch

What causes compaction in the soil? Here are a few factors:

  • Play
  • Pets
  • Dense soil like clay
  • Vehicles on the lawn
  • Any standing or walking on the lawn

It is pretty easy to tell when your soil is compacted. It feels hard when you touch it and may provide resistance when you try to insert items into it.

If you want to reverse the effects of compaction and give your grass access to the nutrients in the soil, you need to consider a lawn aerator. This tool creates channels in the lawn to allow more air circulation. Annually aerating your lawn can encourage healthier, thriving grasses. 

Lawn aerators work in one of three ways. They can drive spikes into the ground to create holes, dig plugs of soil out of the ground, or cut pathways through the soil to create channels where air can flow. They come in a variety of sizes and styles to accommodate many different types of yards. 

When it comes to purchasing a lawn aerator, you may want to focus on either the slicing aerators or the plug aerators. These tools are more effective at opening up your lawn to air flow, and plug aerators are the preferred choice of professionals. As a result, these types will be most effective for restoring your lawn to health.

There are many lawn aerators on the market, but not all of them are created equal. Here are the 8 best lawn aerators on the market today. Start with this list to find the one that will meet your lawn aeration needs. 

Top 8 Best Lawn Aerators of 2019

1. Agri-Fab 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator – Best Premium Product

This lawn aerator is a tow-behind plug aerator. This means that you must use it with a 9 HP or larger tractor or mower and that it works by removing 1-3 inch plugs of soil from the yard. It is a large, heavy-duty unit best suited for big yards of an acre or more. Made primarily of steel and weighing about 95 pounds, it is durable enough for consistent use on big projects but may be hard to handle for some customers. At 48 inches wide, it provides exceptional coverage but can be hard to maneuver around corners.

This Agri-Fab lawn aerator comes with 10-inch semi-pneumatic tires that do not go flat to minimize maintenance or damage to the tires or the lawn. In addition, it creates aeration by using 32 aerator knives arranged in 8 spools. Made of galvanized steel, these knives are meant to penetrate and aerate the soil without breaking or dulling.

 

In order to achieve maximum penetration, you can load this aerator with up to 175 pounds of cinder blocks, bricks, or other weights. However, you will need to secure these weights to the aerator, which may add some labor to the job. The lawn aerator comes with a lever you can reach from the tractor to raise the aerator when passing over sidewalks or driveways. A universal hitch allows it to fit any tractor or mower.

 

Pros

  • 32 galvanized knives
  • Heavy duty steel construction
  • Wide aeration path
  • Universal hitch
  • Height adjustment lever

 

Cons

  • Heavy 
  • Difficult to maneuver around corners
  • Not suitable for small jobs

 

2. Brinly 40-Inch Tow Behind Plug Aerator – Best Overall Product

Heavy-duty steel construction and a 40-inch width make this tow-behind plug aerator suitable for large jobs. This machine uses 24 heat-treated, 16-gauge blades on three separate rotator sections to dig out plugs up to 3 inches long. The heat treated steel makes the blades strong and less prone to dulling. 

 

The separate rotator sections allow this lawn aerator to work effectively on uneven ground and makes maneuvering this tool easier. It also holds up to 150 pounds of extra weight in order to improve puncture depth.

 

The aerator also comes with a lever that raises and lowers the blades when crossing hard surfaces like driveways and sidewalks. You do have to get off the tractor to use the lever, which can make it inconvenient to use if you must raise and lower the blades often.

 

This lawn aerator comes with a number of convenience features, including a universal hitch. Each blade can also be removed and services or replaced individually. 

 

Pros

  • Large enough for big jobs
  • Universal hitch
  • Separate rotator sections
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Maneuverable

 

Cons

  • Height lever cannot be reached from tractor seat
  • Smaller than other heavy-duty tow-behind lawn aerator

3. Yard Butler Manual Coring Lawn Aerator – Best Product for Budget

 

For small yards or patches of grass that require aeration, a manual lawn aerator may be the right choice. This manual lawn aerator from Yard Butler digs out two 3.5-inch long plugs, each half an inch in diameter, at a time. A foot rest provides a way to exert added pressure to insert this lawn aerator into the ground.

It only weighs a few pounds, making it easy for almost anyone to handle. At the same time, customers report that it is durable and effective.

This tool is the least expensive aeration option for your yard, but is definitely not intended for use over a large area.

 

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Durable

 

Cons

  • Not suitable for big jobs
  • Manual labor required to operate

4. Precision Products 42-Inch Tow-Behind Plug Aerator

 

At 42-inches wide and made of solid steel, this lawn aerator provides enough solid coverage to handle yards of half an acre and larger. Despite its heavy-duty construction, it comes partially assembled to make it simple to complete assembly.

This lawn aerator uses 32 13-gauge steel plugging spoons. These spoons, when weighted properly with up to 150 additional pounds, can produce plugs up to 2.5 inches deep. 

 

While this lawn aerator does not have a universal hitch, it does have a multi-height hitch that allows it to fit almost any tractor. A lever allows the user to engage and disengage the spoons as needed when driving over hard surfaces. 

 

Pros

  • Wide enough for big jobs
  • Partially assembled
  • Universal hitch
  • Lever control of plug spoons

 

Cons

  • Packaging is too flimsy for the weight of the machine
  • Price is high for features

 

5. Agri-Fab 40-Inch Tow Behind Plug Aerator

 

This tow-behind plug aerator has much in common with its 48-inch Agri-Fab counterpart, but on a smaller scale. It has a 40-inch width and 24 galvanized aerator blades. These blades are still strong and resist dulling, while pulling up soil plugs up to 3 inches long. 

Its steel weight tray can hold up to 140 pounds to improve this lawn aerator’s depth penetration. A lever that can be reached from the tractor seat allows the blades to be raised and lowered to make it easier to cross hard surfaces like driveways and sidewalks. A universal hitch allows you to connect this lawn aerator to any tractor. 

This lawn aerator suffers from insufficient packaging which often leads to torn or damaged boxes. In addition, its cost is not much less than its larger counterpart’s, bringing the value you get for the cost into question.

 

Pros

  • Universal hitch
  • Steel construction
  • Easy height lever
  • Universal hitch

 

Cons

  • Flimsy packaging
  • Relatively costly
  • Smaller than other models made by the same manufacturer

 

6. Mantis Power Tiller Aerator/Dethatcher Combo Attachment

 

Despite a small, flimsy appearance, the tiller aerator and the dethatcher combo from Mantis earn strong reviews from customers for their power and effectiveness. Each attachment fits the Mantis Tiller/Cultivator. 

The aerator, which this review will focus on, is a scarifier. That means that it slices into the ground rather than removing plugs to create space in the soil for the grass roots to reach air and nutrients. This system can lead to a yard that looks scraped up. However, customers report that the end result is a healthier and more vibrant grass. 

The aerator uses tempered steel on its four sets of blades to increase toughness and reduce the chances of breakage. Because this lawn aerator is attached to a tiller/cultivator, it is push operated. Customers report that the aerator can be difficult to operate due to resistance from the machine. 

 

Pros

  • Affordable attachment
  • Efficient and powerful

 

Cons

  • Must use with Mantis Tiller/Cultivator
  • Tough to push

 

7. VonHaus Electric 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher Scarifier and Aerator

 

For getting multiple lawn chores done at once, you may want to consider this VonHaus corded electric lawn aerator. This lawn tool also scarifies and dethatches (removes the layer of dead grass from the surface of the lawn). 

A corded machine, it delivers 12.5 amps of power, though it may limit how far you can go and how much lawn you can treat. It works at a 15-inch width which, combined with the 32-foot cord, makes this tool ideal for small or medium-sized yards. 

With the ability to fold the handle and remove the 45L collection bag, you don’t need much space to store this tool. You can also choose from among five different depths to work at, ranging from .1 inch to .59 inches.

 

Pros

  • Easy assembly
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Compact storage 
  • Multi-depth selection

 

Cons

  • Cord limits range
  • Limited to small and medium yards

 

8. Garden Weasel Core Lawn Aerator

 

Another manual core lawn aerator, the Garden Weasel is designed for small yards and small patches of larger lawns that require aeration. It removes two 3-inch long plugs at every use. It features a handle designed for comfort and a footrest to provide extra leverage when pushing this lawn aerator into the ground. 

This lawn aerator does tend to clog unless used properly on grass and soil of the right dampness. 

 

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Designed for comfort

 

Cons

  • Tends to clog
  • Only suitable for small jobs

 

How to Choose the Best Lawn Aerator

Even with a list of the 8 best lawn aerators of 2019, you have to find the one that works best for your lawn. Here are a few things to consider to help you decide.

Consider project size.

As you may have noticed from the list above, the size of your project will influence which lawn aerator you purchase. Big yards, for example, require large and sturdy tow-behind aerators. Small yards, or projects that require aerating only a portion of the yard, may only require a manual lawn aerator. Consider the size of your project, and choose a lawn aerator accordingly.

Go with a plug aerator.

We have one scarifier listed on our best lawn aerators of 2019 lineup, and with good reason. In general, plug aerators, which dig plugs of soil out of the ground instead of slicing through the ground, work better at opening up the soil to air flow. The plug lawn aerators dig deeper, leave the yard looking nicer, and are the choice of many yard care professionals. Plus, the plug left on top of the soil helps to provide micronutrients to the soil as the plug breaks down over time. 

Look for durability.

No matter how big or small your project, you want a lawn aerator that will last. Over time, this tool will save you money over renting, but only as long as it lasts past one or two uses. That is why you want to look for features like solid steel construction, treated metal blades, warranties, and solid customer reviews to ensure that the lawn aerator you buy will serve you well over time .

Find something convenient.

Finally, when choosing the best lawn aerator, choose one that is convenient and easy to use. For example, a lever that controls blade height from the tractor is important, as is a universal hitch. Partially assembled or lightweight machines are easier to handle. You may also want to consider features like maneuverability and whether or not the lawn aerator can dethatch at the same time.

Conclusion

A lawn aerator can be a valuable tool for improving the health and vibrancy of your lawn. Look for one that is easy to use, durable, affordable, and the right size. Then enjoy the benefits of delivering fresh air and nutrients to your grass.

Top 8 Best Lawn Sweepers of 2019

Best Lawn Sweeper

What happens to all of your grass clippings after you mow? How many hours do you spend raking up your leaves in the fall? Does your back hurt from bending over and over again to gather up yard debris when spring comes? If so, you may benefit from a lawn sweeper.

A lawn sweeper is a yard tool that is much like a vacuum cleaner for your yard. This tool uses brushes underneath it to pick up debris on the grass and throw it into a hopper. Once the hopper is full, you simply empty it into a tarp, garden bag, or compost pile. As a result, it has the potential to save you many hours of backbreaking work cleaning up your yard.

Best Lawn Sweeper

There are two types of lawn sweepers: A push sweeper and a tow behind sweeper. A push sweeper works as you push it along the ground in front of you. A tow behind sweeper works as you pull it behind a tractor. 

The type of lawn sweeper you choose depends upon your personal preferences. You can also look at the end of this buying guide to learn about the factors you should consider before choosing a lawn sweeper for your yard.

When should you choose a lawn sweeper? Consider one of these tools whenever you face any of the following situations:

  • You are not physically able to complete the picking up of debris from your yard
  • You have a large yard that makes raking difficult or time consuming
  • You do not enjoy yard work
  • Your yard gets covered in many leaves during the fall
  • The time you have to devote to yard work is limited

When you do decide to purchase a lawn sweeper, you then need to decide which one will suit your needs best. Keep reading for a look at the 8 best lawn sweepers of 2019.

Top 8 Best Lawn Sweepers of 2019

You can’t compare the pros and cons of every lawn sweeper in the market. To help you narrow the list down, we have selected the 8 best lawn sweepers on the market this year, from the best overall to the best for your budget. 

Agri-Fab Tow-Behind 44-Inch – Best Product Overall

This Agri-Fab lawn sweeper is suitable for medium to large lawns, with its 44-inch width and 25 cubic foot hopper capacity. In order to make the most of its already large capacity, it utilizes a flow thru bag that uses all of the space inside the hopper to store yard debris.

 

This tool’s sweeping ability is powered by 12-inch bronze blades that can pick up even large items like pine cones. Strong reviews back its claims of being effective and labor-saving. This lawn sweeper is a tow behind model, with a universal hitch to make it compatible with any type of tractor. 

 

Other features make this lawn sweeper convenient to use. For example, you can unload the hopper while sitting on the tractor by releasing the lever, and semi-pneumatic tires are designed to give it a smoother ride. It shrinks to about 30 percent of its size for compact storage, and assembly only requires two tools. If you want to further simplify your yard maintenance, you can offset the blades to trim the grass and sweep at the same time.

 

One of the things you need to watch out for with this model is a tendency for breakdowns within a year or two of purchase. Some assembly is required.

 

Pros:

  • Adjustable blade height
  • Ability to cut and sweep simultaneously
  • Universal hitch

 

Cons:

  1. Some assembly required
  2. Some reports of early breakage or defective products

Brinly 42-Inch Tow Behind-Best Premium Product 

At 42 inches wide and with a 20 cubic foot hopper, this tow behind lawn sweeper from Brinly has the size you need for large jobs. It works efficiently by using six brushes instead of the usual four. This design reduces the amount of time that the brushes are off the ground and ensures that this lawn sweeper does not skip any part of the lawn. Adjustable brush height allows you to easily clear a variety of surfaces. 

 

This model is also designed for convenience: The hopper can be emptied with one hand from the tractor by a pull cord, and the machine can be stored upright to reduce the amount of space it takes up. The universal hitch also makes it easier to use with any kind of tractor. 

 

One thing to look out for with this lawn sweeper is a potentially difficult assembly, due in part to instructions that are hard to follow. 

 

Pros:

  • Large size for big jobs
  • One-handed empty of hopper
  • Six adjustable height brushes
  • Universal hitch

 

Cons:

  • Assembly instructions can be hard to follow

Earthwise 21-Inch Push-Best for Budget

At 21 inches wide and with a capacity of just over 3 cubic feet, this push lawn sweeper is best suited for small jobs such as picking up small.sticks or dry leaves off of small yards. It does offer adjustable height brushes for a variety of surfaces. At just 13 pounds, it is easy to handle. Once the hopper is empty, you can fold this lawn sweeper and hang it up out of the way. It is also one of the least expensive lawn sweepers on the market, making it a good choice for households needing a lawn sweeper on a budget. 

 

Things to look out for with this lawn sweeper include an inability to handle dense or large yard debris and the need to get the height correct for proper performance on grass.

 

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to handle
  • Adjustable height

 

Cons

  • Not suitable for big jobs
  • Height must be right for efficient operation 

Ohio Steel Tow-Behind 42-Inch

This Ohio Steel lawn sweeper is a tow-behind yard tool with 42 inches of sweeping width. A multi hinge with three height choices allows it to fit on a variety of tractors. It also receives strong reviews from customers for its ease of use and its effectiveness at picking up debris like pine cones and small twigs.

 

Tha is to a 9-inch chute and 11-inch polypropylene brushes, this lawn sweeper can pick up even set or dense lawn debris without clogging. It also boasts convenience features like a pull rope to empty the hopper without detaching or lifting it. In addition, once empty, the hopper can be removed and folded to make it easier to store the lawn sweeper. 

 

Things to look out for in this model are difficulty operating it over bumpy terrain and the fact that some materials are plastic and therefore more prone to wear and tear. It is also relatively pricey and requires a fairly large amount of assembly. 

 

Pros:

  • Good width for medium sized lawns 
  • Efficient and effective
  • No clog features 
  • Easy to use
  • Multi hitch

 

Cons:

  • Complicated assembly
  • Pricey
  • Not effective on bumpy ground

Agri-Fab 26-Inch Push

This push lawn sweeper is a good choice for small yards and light clean up projects. At 26 inches wide, and with a 7 cubic foot hopper capacity, it is one of the smaller lawn sweepers on the market. 

 

However, this lawn sweeper is very affordable and receives positive reviews for its ease of assembly and for its effectiveness. At just 25 pounds, it is also relatively lightweight and therefore easy to handle. To store, simply remove and collapse the hopper. 

 

The hopper does need to be removed and emptied by hand and works best on dry leaves and small lawn debris.

 

Pros:

  • Efficient operation
  • Affordability
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to assemble

 

Cons:

  • Small
  • Unsuitable for wet or large lawn debris
  • Hopper can become difficult to lift and carry when full

Agri-Fab 42-Inch Tow-Behind

This 42-inch tow behind lawn sweeper with a 12 cubic foot hopper is big enough to handle large jobs. Price wise, it is competitive with other tow behind lawn sweepers of similar size.

 

Large semi-pneumatic tires make for a smoother ride, even over bumpy terrain. In addition, this model boasts a collapsible hopper to make storage easier and more compact, while emptying the hopper is a one-handed job with the included pull cord.

 

The brushes are adjustable height, and the hitch is universal. As a result, you can easily attach this lawn sweeper to any tractor and set the brush height to sweep a variety of surfaces.  

 

With this lawn sweeper, you do need to watch out for difficult assembly thanks to the fact that the instructions rely mostly on pictures. In addition, some customers have encountered missing or broken parts upon delivery of their lawn sweeper. 

 

Pros:

  • Big enough for big jobs
  • Reasonable price
  • One-hand hopper empty
  • Adjustable height brushes
  • Compact storage 

 

Cons:

  • Difficult assembly
  • Occasional missing or broken parts

Sun Joe 26-Inch Push

Among push lawn sweepers, this Sun Joe product boasts a large capacity, 53 gallon hopper. Combined with a width of 26 inches, it is capable of handling medium-sized jobs efficiently. 

 

Constructed all of steel, it is strong and reliable. You can also adjust the brush height to catch a variety of debris on a variety of surfaces. 

 

Thanks to its heavy duty construction, however, this lawn sweeper is very heavy, and weighs around 95 pounds. This weight may make it difficult for some customers to handle. It also receives some negative reviews for weak construction of the push handle. 

 

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Sturdy
  • Large capacity

 

Cons: 

  • Weak handle
  • Heavy to maneuver and lift

Ohio Steel 50-Inch Pro Tow-Behind

This 50-inch wide tow behind lawn sweeper, with its 26 cubic foot hopper, is one of the largest on the market. As such, it is suitable for handling the largest jobs. Customers also report that this lawn sweeper is capable of picking up almost any type of large and small lawn debris. A 5-position hitch fits a variety of tractors.

 

As with other Ohio Steel lawn sweepers, this product uses a 9-inch chute to prevent clogging when picking up dense or wet yard debris. In addition, it uses 11-inch polypropylene spiral brushes for improved efficiency in picking up leaves, sticks, etc. You empty the hopper by use of a pull cord that eliminates removing or lifting a heavy hopper. Once empty, the hopper collapses for more compact storage. 

 

Things to be aware of with this lawn sweeper include some non-metal parts, like fabric corners, that can fray easily and the fact that this lawn sweeper weighs about 100 pounds. 

 

Pros:

  • Large capacity for big jobs
  • 5-position hitch
  • Efficient

 

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Some weak parts

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Lawn Sweeper

Before you buy a lawn sweeper, you will want to have a fairly good idea of what kind of sweeper will best suit your needs. Here are a few of the most important factors to consider before you buy a lawn sweeper.

Tow-Behind vs. Push Lawn Sweeper

As discussed above, lawn sweepers fall into two categories: Tow behind sweepers and push sweepers. Before you purchase a lawn sweeper, you should know which type you prefer. Tow-behind sweepers tend to be large, heavy duty, and suitable for big yards and jobs. They also require the use of a tractor and are much more expensive than their push counterparts. 

 

Push lawn sweepers, on the other hand, tend to be smaller and lighter and do not require the use of a tractor, making them easier to handle. They are best suited for small yards and jobs and tend to be much less expensive than tow-behind lawn sweepers. As a result, big jobs and big debris might lead you to invest in a tow-behind, while budget constraints and small jobs might make a push lawn sweeper preferable. 

Width of Lawn Sweeper

Lawn sweepers also come in varying widths, from 21 inches wide to 50 inches wide. Typically, the size of your yard will determine which size lawn sweeper you purchase. The smaller the yard, the smaller the sweeper you will require. Push lawn sweepers also tend to be narrower than tow-behind sweepers, so be prepared for a bigger width if you opt for a tow-behind. 

Capacity of Lawn Sweeper

Another factor to consider before buying a lawn sweeper is its capacity, or the amount of debris it holds in its hopper before needing to be emptied. Again, there is great variety in capacity. Some sweepers only carry a couple of bushels, while others hold a couple dozen cubic feet. If you have many trees that shed leaves or pine needles, you may need a larger capacity hopper. However, smaller yards and jobs may be suitable for a smaller hopper. Choose the capacity that will allow you to complete your job with a minimum of stops to empty the hopper.

 

You will also want to consider how heavy the hopper gets when full. A very large hopper may be difficult to detach and empty. In these cases, invest in a lawn sweeper that allows you to empty the hopper with one hand through a pull cord or lever instead of requiring you to lift and carry a heavy load to the compost pile. 

Storage 

You will need someplace to keep your lawn sweeper when you are not using it. A garage or shed is an ideal storage location. However, sometimes, homeowners have limited storage space. At these times, look for a lawn sweeper that stores compactly. For example, some models fold up or hang on the wall for more efficient storage. 

Handling Needs

Finally, before you purchase a lawn sweeper, think about your handling needs. Can you push a heavy sweeper around the yard or do you need a tow-behind model that will be easier to manage? Do you want the exercise of pushing a lawn sweeper or the convenience of a tow-behind? Would a lightweight and easy to assemble model serve you better than a heavier or more complex tool? Knowing how much you can handle, both in terms of assembly and weight, can help you narrow down your choices for a lawn sweeper. In addition, choosing the lawn sweeper that handles as you expect and need can save you sore muscles and frustration once your new yard tool arrives. 

Conclusion

Lawn sweepers can save you time and trouble when it comes to keeping your lawn clean and neat. You just need to find the model that best suits your needs. Once you decide on a tow-behind vs. a push lawn sweeper; determine your width, capacity, storage, and handling needs, and choose the right lawn sweeper, you can spend more hours enjoying a neat lawn than working on keeping it that way. If you need to know which lawn sweepers to choose from, consider our list of the best 8 lawn sweepers of 2019 and get started finding the next useful lawn tool for your needs.