As a gardening expert, I’m happy to help guide you through the world of lawnmowers and their ability to pick up leaves. Let’s discuss the different types of lawnmowers available for various lawn sizes and styles.
Types of LawnMowers
There are four main types of lawnmowers:
- Manual Reel Mowers: These are the simplest and most eco-friendly options, with your muscle power driving the spinning blades. They are best suited for small, flat lawns and require more physical effort.
- Electric Lawn Mowers: Electric mowers run on battery power or an extension cord. They are quiet and perfect for small to medium-sized lawns. Since they don’t emit fumes, they are environmentally friendly compared to gas mowers.
- Gas-powered Lawn Mowers: These are the most powerful of the three types and are great for medium to large lawns. They operate on gasoline and demand regular maintenance.
- Riding Lawn Mowers: Designed for extra-large lawns, these machines are similar to small tractors, and the user rides on them while cutting the grass. They often have various attachments for tasks such as leaf collecting.
Type of Mower Suitable For Picking Up Leaves
Gas-powered lawnmowers and riding lawnmowers are your best options when picking up leaves. Both types of mowers work differently to achieve this task.
Gas-powered Lawn Mowers
Gas-powered lawnmowers often come with a bag attached at the rear, which collects grass clippings and leaves during mowing. As the mower runs, the spinning blades create an airflow that lifts the leaves and directs them into the collection bag.
You can use a special mulching blade or a high-lift blade to optimize picking up leaves. Mulching blades chop leaves into tinier pieces, eventually decomposing and providing soil nutrients. High-lift blades generate stronger airflow to lift, and transport leaves more effectively to the bag.
Riding Lawn Mowers
Riding lawn mowers, specifically, those with a grass catcher attachment, are ideal for leaf collecting on larger lawns. The grass catcher, which usually consists of a series of tubes and a collection bag, can pick up leaves like a gas-powered lawn mower. Another attachment option for a riding mower is the lawn sweeper, a tow-behind accessory that uses large brushes to sweep up leaves and collect them in a hopper.
Tips and Recommendations
Here are some tips to effectively and efficiently remove leaves from your lawn using a lawn mower:
- Ensure that the lawn is dry. Wet leaves can clog the mower’s deck and reduce its ability to pick up and collect leaves.
- Mow in a consistent and organized pattern to avoid missing any portions of the lawn.
- Set the mower’s cutting height to the highest setting when collecting leaves to avoid damaging the grass.
- If you have many leaves to collect, consider using a leaf blower before mowing to move the leaves into manageable piles.
- Regularly empty the collection bag and dispose of the leaves in yard waste bags or compost them if possible.
Can You Pick Up Wet Leaves with A Lawn Mower?
The Short Answer: Yes, But…
The quick response is yes, you can pick up wet leaves with a lawn mower, but it may not be the most efficient or effective method. Wet leaves tend to stick together and to the mower deck, which can decrease the overall performance of the mower and potentially damage its components.
Before you head out into the damp world to tackle those leaves, here’s what you need to know:
Choose the Right Mower for the Job
Not all mowers are created equal when it comes to tackling wet leaves. Bagging mowers can become bogged down by heavy, wet foliage, and mulching mowers can struggle to chop up damp leaves effectively. Look for a lawn mower with sturdy blades, a robust motor, and a high-quality bagging or mulching attachment that can handle the additional weight and moisture.
Understand the Risks
Using a lawn mower to pick up wet leaves presents a higher risk of potential damage to both your mower and your lawn. Wet leaves can clog your mower’s air filter and hinder airflow to the engine, leading to overheating and reduced performance. Additionally, soggy leaves can create an unfavorable environment for grass, fostering fungal growth and potentially harming your lawn.
Making the Most of Your Mower
If you’ve determined that using your lawn mower is the best way to tackle those wet leaves, follow these guidelines to optimize your experience:
- Mow in more minor passes: Breaking your lawn into smaller sections can help minimize the stress on your mower and the risk of clogging.
- Raise your mower’s cutting height: Cutting the grass in a taller setting will make it easier for your lawn mower to process the wet leaves.
- Go slow: Moving slowly will give your mower more time to process the damp leaves without becoming overwhelmed.
- Sharpen your mower blades: Sharp blades can chop through wet leaves more efficiently, reducing the chances of clogging.
- Clean up afterward: Be sure to clean your mower’s deck, undercarriage, and air filter after use in case of any lingering moisture or debris.
7 Best Leaf Mulching Lawn Mowers 2023
- Greenworks 16-Inch Electric Mulching Lawn Mower for Leaves
- Craftsman 3-in-1 Gas Powered Mower with Bagger
- Worx WG779 14″ Cordless Leaf Lawn Mower
- Sun Joe MJ403E 17-Inch Electric Leaf Mulching Mower
- Greenworks 20″ Brushless Cordless Lawn Mower
- Greenworks 20-Inch 3-in-1 Electric Corded Lawn Mower
- Greenworks Pro 21-Inch Lawn Mower
When picking up leaves from your lawn, using a lawn mower is an effective and efficient way to get the job done. There are three types of lawnmowers – battery-powered, gas-powered, and riding – that can each be used for leaf collecting uniquely. Gas-powered mowers often come with a bag attachment, or you can use special blades to optimize the process. Riding mowers are ideal for larger yards, as they have grass catcher attachments and even tow-behind lawn sweepers. Before you go out with your mower, ensure the lawn is dry and your blades are sharpened for optimal performance.
Douglas Mackalie is a Founder of Mackalies Garden. He is one of the most exciting people you’ll ever meet. He has 25 years of experience in horticulture and gardening, most of which he’s spent outdoors getting his hands dirty.