Home garden & Acreage. Leaf sweeper for riding mower

Should I Use My Lawn Mower To Pick Up Leaves In The Fall?

Raking leaves during Fall can be a back breaking task, especially if you do it by hand. Bending over to pick up the leaves and then placing them into a bag can be a pain. If you own a riding lawn mower, it can help ease your leaf removal process. There are certain types of attachments that may be needed with most riding lawn mowers in order to help you pick up leaves as you ride across your lawn. It is nice to use these attachments while you mow the grass, making it so you can both cut the yard and pick up leaves at the same time.

Most riding lawn mowers and push lawn mowers have an optional bagger attachment that you can use when cutting the yard. Most push mowers include the bag while riding mowers do not (and you have to buy them as an add on). The bag attaches and detaches from the rear of a lawn mower. You can choose to attach it when you want to collect grass clippings or leaves during the Fall. The grass cut by the mower deck of your mower is blown through the discharge chute into the bagger. A bagger will also collect any material or debris your lawn mower mows over. So if your yard is covered with leaves, this is a great way to clean them up without bending over to pick up leaves manually.

Another leaf collection attachment you can use with your riding lawn mower is a leaf bag. This bagger is pretty much the same as the bagger system previously mentioned; however, it is much larger than your basic bagger system. It is nice to have if your yard is large so that you can pick up more leaves without having to empty the bags as often.

A lawn sweeper hooks up to the rear of the tractor, acting as a tow-behind attachment that sweeps the leaves off the grass. Rotating bristles throw any debris on your lawn into the sweepers bin area. If you only want to pick up leaves without mowing the lawn, a lawn sweeper is a very useful attachment to use. You do not need to engage the blade while going over the leaves (as you do with a bagger system). The sweeper will pick up the leaves without chopping them up. Be sure to check the lawn sweeper owner’s manual to make sure it is compatible with your type/ brand of riding lawn mower.

Sometimes if you do not have too many leaves in your yard you are able to just cut over them without having to bag them up. This method will create a nutrient-rich mulch material that will fall between the blades of grass. Because the pieces are so tiny, your lawn will appear to look as though you picked up your leaves. If the layer of leaves on your lawn is too thick, don’t mulch. This will cause too much mulch left on your lawn and that excess mulch will suffocate/ kill the grass. In order to mulch with your riding lawn mower or push lawn mower, remove the rear bagger and cover the side discharge chute with a mulch cover flap.

Home garden Acreage

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This Paddock lawn sweeper will ensure you always keep a tidy yard. Designed with simplicity and durability in mind it is very simple to use and will save you hours of raking and bending over picking up leaves and small branches. Perfect for towing behind ATV’s, Quad bikes and even ride on mowers!

‘Paddock’ Tow Behind Lawn Sweeper

This is a quality piece of equipment which you’ll wonder how you ever did without. Attach the extra wide 48″ sweeper to the back of you quad bike, ATV or ride on mower and quickly and effectively pick up the mess. The unit includes 10″ brushes driven off the rotation of the wheels and these brushes rotate and throw grass clippings, leaves, twigs and other yard debris into the catchment bag.

These sweepers are absolutely ideal for cleaning up the Autumn leaf fall and will ensure a presentable yard all year around. Collecting fallen leaves through Autumn and Winter ensures the grass continues to be exposed to sunlight and grows minimising die off.

The unit is constructed from powder coated steel with plastic wheels ensuring many years of trouble free service. It comes with a hitch pin to allow simple connection to your ATV or ride on mower. The sweeper is easily manageable by a single person with connection and disconnection a breeze.

This sweeper is ideal for people with medium to large yards. The larger 48″ width means the clean up task is over sooner. If you own a ride on mower, you can justify the need for a tow behind lawn sweeper.

Specification Value

Width 48″ 54″ options
Capacity 413 L (48″) / 470 L (54″)
Connection type Hitch pin
Features Engagement lever to activate sweeper
Maximum speed 8 km/h
Construction Powder coat steel frame
Includes Catchment bag/sock
Warranty 12 Months

What is a Bagger?

A lawn bagger is an accessory that attaches to the back of a riding lawn mower and collects grass clippings, leaves, and other debris as the lawnmower is driven over the area being cut.

The bagger consists of a mounting frame, a hopper for collecting the materials, and typically two or three-bladed impellers that draw the debris into the bag.

The material collected by the bagger is typically disposed of, either in a compost bin or trash receptacle.

A lawn bagger can be an effective tool for keeping landscape areas neat and tidy, as well as preventing damage to plants from clippings left on foliage.

It helps to minimize the need to manually bag, rake, or collect debris from a large area. It also helps to improve the look of a lawn, making it much easier for homeowners to maintain their turf or garden areas.

Finally, using a lawn bagger can help reduce air pollution caused by the burning of grass clippings and leaves.

Using a lawn bagger is a relatively straightforward process. All that’s needed is to connect the bagger frame to the rear of the riding mower, fill it with debris and grass clippings, and drive the mower around the area being cut.

The impellers will automatically draw in any debris or clippings from the area as it is passed over by the mower. When the bagger is full, it can be emptied out into a compost bin or receptacle for disposal.

In summary, a lawn bagger can be an excellent tool for keeping your landscape neat and tidy while also helping reduce air pollution caused by burning grass clippings and leaves.

With proper use and maintenance, a lawn bagger can be a cost-effective way to keep your turf or garden areas looking their best.

There are also numerous types of lawn baggers to choose from. Depending on the size and type of your lawn, you can choose from a rear bagger, a side discharge grass catcher, or a high-capacity grass clipping container for larger yards.

Rear baggers collect grass clippings in two separate bags mounted at the back of the mower, making them easy to empty when full. Side discharge catchers are usually paired with side discharge mowers, where the clippings are discharged out of the side.

For large yards, high-capacity grass clipping containers can hold up to 50 gallons of clippings and collect more material than a rear bagger or side discharge catcher. In addition to collecting grass clippings, lawn baggers can also be used for collecting leaves and other debris.

Most lawn baggers can easily be adapted to collect leaves by attaching a leaf collection attachment to the mower. This attachment is designed with nylon mesh bags that are specifically made to capture large amounts of leaves while allowing air to flow through so the clippings don’t become compacted.

What are the Differences Between a Lawn Sweeper and a Bagger?

While they seemingly have identical roles, it is important to distinguish between a lawn sweeper and a lawn bagger when deciding on a purchase for your property.

Overall Versatility

It is safe to say that a lawn sweeper offers more versatility, as it can be used to pick up a variety of materials, such as leaves and clippings, from all areas of your yard.

Additionally, some models are even able to pick up pine needles, acorns, and other debris that may not work well with a bagger.

On the other hand, lawn baggers are usually designed for collecting grass clippings and leaves. For this reason, it may be difficult to find a bagger that can pick up other debris or debris of different sizes.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for an all-around solution for yard cleanup, consider investing in a lawn sweeper. It’s sure to save you time and energy when removing debris from your lawn.

Ease of Use and Convenience

Even though a lawn sweeper offers more versatility, when it comes to overall convenience and ease of use, a lawn bagger takes the win.

This is due to the fact that a lawn bagger collects clippings as you’re mowing, meaning that you don’t have to stop and empty the bag once it’s full.

Instead, all you need to do is attach a cloth or plastic bag to the bagger’s frame, and voila—you’re good to go. Plus, with some models, you can even mulch the clippings as they are collected by using a special mulching blade.

Meanwhile, with a lawn sweeper, the process of collecting clippings is a bit more involved. You need to push the sweeper across your lawn and then dump out its contents when it’s full.

It can also take multiple passes for larger areas, making it less efficient than a bagger in terms of ease of use. For those who don’t have much yard work experience, a lawn bagger is usually the best choice due to its convenience and ease of use.

However, for more experienced users, a lawn sweeper may be a better option due to its versatility and ability to cover larger areas in one go. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and yard size.

Collecting Capabilities

A lawn sweeper will usually collect more debris in one take as it has a wider mouth. The debris collected is typically larger, such as grass clippings and leaves.

On the other hand, a lawn bagger will collect smaller particles like twigs and dirt because of its smaller aperture.

It can also be more efficient at collecting small amounts of grass clippings over a large area. Generally speaking, for those looking to collect large amounts of debris quickly, a lawn sweeper is the better choice.

Those looking for more precision and efficiency in debris collection should consider using a lawn bagger. Ultimately, what type of machine you should use will depend on the size and type of debris that needs to be collected.

Reliance on a Mower

While a lawn sweeper is completely independent, a lawn bagger relies on the performance and efficiency of a lawn mower.

A lawn sweeper utilizes brushes and a spinning reel to sweep up grass clippings from the ground, while a lawn bagger requires the mower to break down the clippings into smaller pieces before depositing them in a bag.

The more powerful and efficient the mower is, the better job it will do at breaking up the clippings, ensuring that the bagger can do its job more efficiently.

Furthermore, while a lawn sweeper works best on flat terrain, a lawn bagger may work better in areas with hills, as it is able to utilize the power of the mower to climb up and down them easily.

Ultimately, if you are looking for an independent method of grass clipping collection, then a lawn sweeper is the better option. But if you want to maximize efficiency and power while collecting clippings, then a lawn bagger may be the better choice.

Regardless of which one you choose, make sure to factor in how well your mower will work with either device.

Lawn Sweeper vs Bagger: Are they the same?

While they share numerous uses, they do not have identical characteristics or performance ratings. A lawn sweeper is independent of your lawn mower, but it is not as efficient in collecting larger debris.

However, it does have a larger mouth, so it may be able to collect more grass clippings in one session than a lawn bagger. A lawn bagger is basically a lawn mower attachment that allows you to collect the debris in a container bag.

It relies on the power of the mower completely, so it is more suitable for more challenging tasks, and not so much for the detailing work.

What is a Lawn Bagger?

Rather than a tool itself, a lawn bagger is an accessory that can be attached to the back or sometimes side of a lawnmower as part of a debris collection system.

They aren’t powered, not do they have any mechanical or moving parts – like that of a lawn sweeper.

Instead, they rely on the airflow created by the lawnmower’s motor and blade, which lifts material from the ground, and forces it back into the collection unit.

Lawn baggers are commonly available as attachments for either zero-turn mowers or riding mowers; as well as regular push/walk behind machines.

But did you know that many people are using the wrong type of mower for their yard?

Here’s an example – there’s a guy down the end of my street trying to mow a huge plot with a small battery mower!

And a few doors across, there’s a woman who uses a ride-on machine for a relatively tiny patch of grass!

I think the two of them need to swap machines, don’t you?

Check out this article for an in-depth guide to all the different types of lawnmowers you can use, and make sure you’re using the right tool for your lawn.

The benefits of lawn baggers are that they come in a variety of sizes, therefore suitable for practically all garden sizes.

Regular commercial lawnmowers generally have lawn baggers attached and are around 18 gallons and are great for smaller gardens with little grass-clippings to collect.

It doesn’t stop there – lawn baggers can reach a size of a whopping 54-cubic feet, check out this huge bagger, below! This bagger is suitable for large acreage gardens and can be attached to the back of a riding mower or zero-turn mower.

Factors Affecting Choice

Whilst both lawn sweepers and baggers both do very similar things, there are a few key differences that can impact how well they perform.

Before purchasing either a lawn sweeper or a lawn bagger, there are three considerations to make that will affect your decision.

How Big is Your Lawn?

The size of your lawn space is a critical thing to consider when buying either a lawn bagger or sweeper.

If your lawn is smaller in size and only takes about half an hour or so to mow, then a bagger would be the better choice as it can still collect all types of smaller debris during the mowing process.

The main issue with smaller lawn baggers is that you will likely have to stop working to empty it a few times. This is why it’s not particularly suitable for larger yards and gardens.

Unless, of course, you’re using an industrial-sized bagger with a riding lawnmower.

If your yard space is one acre or more then a lawn sweeper might be the better choice for you.

To pick up debris that covers a larger space, a lawn sweeper is the best tool for the job! Tow-behind lawn sweepers that attach to your tractor can hold more material so can easily be used for large-spaced gardens.

Will Your Grass be Wet?

As far as conditions for yard work go, having wet grass and soaking leaves is arguably the furthest from ideal. It’s always better to wait until everything is as dry as possible.

But if you have no choice but to clean up a damp yard, is a lawn sweeper or a lawn bagger better?

In truth, there’s not a great deal of difference, as almost any tool is going to struggle in these conditions.

But I would say a lawn sweeper edges it, as it’s more capable of collecting clumps of wet grass, and easier to maintain and clear when required.

On the other hand, a bagger and mower will both labor in this department, and they’re notorious for clogging up if used in wet conditions.

Check out this article on top tips for mowing wet grass – the first of which is: don’t do it unless absolutely necessary!

Go inside, make yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up, and wait for the sun to do its thing. (Unless, of course, you live in the Pacific NorthWest, in which case you have my sympathies!)

And while you’re enjoying a well-deserved break, you can watch the video below for some tips and tricks for preventing a lawn bagger from clogging in the first place.

Type and Volume of Debris

When choosing between a lawn sweeper and a lawn bagger, you should take into consideration the kind of work you need it to do.

Namely – what type of debris and material is it going to attempt to pick up?

For riding lawn mowers, a heavy-duty bagger system should be picking up just about anything you drive over.

Likewise, a heavy-duty sweeper should be capable of a similar performance.

But there are question marks over both systems when it comes to smaller debris, such as pine needles.

And when it comes to material volume, obviously the larger the bagger or sweeper, the more debris you’ll be able to collect.

Collecting Ability

The amount of material your lawn-clearing method of choice is capable of hoovering up is determined by two main factors:

Lawn baggers are closed units. Once the material is in there – it stays in there until you empty it out.

Lawn sweepers, by contrast, typically have open hoppers, and material and debris can easily fall or blow out – particularly if you’re running over uneven terrain, and/or on windy days.

The choice really comes down to user preference and efficiency.


For argument’s sake, we’re talking about lawn sweepers and baggers that are attached to a riding lawnmower, tractor, or similar vehicle.

Walk behind tools are fairly straightforward to maneuver – regardless of whether you’re using a dedicated sweeper, or a bagger attached to your push mower.

Folks who regularly use tractors will tell you that a pull behind lawn sweeper isn’t going to be as maneuverable as a bagger that’s fixed to the back of your machine.

With a sweeper, you’re effectively pulling a trailer – which can be challenging when it comes to reversing, or negotiating tight spaces.

A bagger, on the other hand, is basically an extension of your lawnmower, and can be much easier to control as a result.

If maneuverability is a concern, then a lawn bagger is probably the better choice for you.

Dumping Waste

Another difference between lawn baggers and lawn sweepers is how you remove and deposit the waste collected.

With heavy-duty baggers, you typically lift the cover, unhitch the hoppers on the back of your tractor or mower, and dump out the contents.

With a heavy-duty sweeper, there’s often a pulley that tips the hopper, and allows you to dump the waste without the need to remove any collection basket.

For smaller units, like walk behind sweepers and mowers with baggers, emptying collected material is much the same.

The answer to that is entirely down to personal preference, although the sweeper is arguably the easier of the two – at least when comparing manual effort.

Regardless of which method you choose, I hope you’re all using the material for compost. Turn that yard waste into black gold, and save yourself some money while you’re at it.

Read about how you can use yard waste to create your own DIY lawn food, for starters!

Storage Space

Another important consideration when it comes to choosing just about any large tool or accessory – is the one that is often overlooked.

How much storage space do you have, and/or how are you going to store it?

Trust me – I’ve nearly added a few tools and machines to cart before realizing I actually don’t have anywhere to put them!

For the most part, lawn sweepers are going to take up more space than baggers.

However, most decent sweepers have the option of being folded down to a smaller profile, which will take up less space in your shed or garage.

And some might come with hardware for attaching it to a wall.

Either way, consider where and how you’re going to store the tool before making a purchase – which will save you a headache after the job is done.

Lawn Sweepers vs Lawn Baggers – Head-to-Head

So, after all that, which one is actually best?

Well, to be honest, most of the time it’s going to come down to personal preference. There are some folks who swear by their baggers, and others who much prefer their sweepers.

To help you finally decide, here’s an at-a-glance list of the pros and cons of each.

Of course, this is a broad analysis, and there might be variable advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of bagger or sweeper you’re using.

Lawn Sweeper Pros

  • Wide choice of sizes available.
  • Can pick up litter.
  • Designed specifically to lift material.
  • Can be used in wet conditions.
  • Capable of picking up a variety of debris.

Lawn Sweeper Cons

  • Material and debris can fall or be blown out.
  • Variable results on uneven terrain.
  • Takes up extra storage space.
  • Can require additional maintenance.

Lawn Bagger Pros

  • Used simultaneously while cutting grass.
  • Clippings stay in the hopper until emptied.
  • Wide choice of sizes available.
  • Easier to maneuver.
  • Little or no maintenance required.

Lawn Bagger Cons

Finally, as promised, here’s a comparison with the humble garden rake and a bit of elbow grease!

Garden Rake Pros

  • Highly versatile.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Should last a lifetime.
  • No maintenance required.
  • Easy to store.
  • You’ve already got one.

Garden Rake Cons

Garden rakes will always have a place in our sheds and garages – but I don’t particularly look forward to using them on the mountain of leaves each year!


Is a bagger or a lawn sweeper better?

It depends on a number of factors, including how large your yard is, the conditions in which you’re working, what you want to pick up, and cost.

I don’t believe that one is better than the other, and it will come down to personal preference, and your own circumstances.

Do lawn sweepers actually work?

Great question. And to be honest – the jury is still out.

Take a look at the reviews for any lawn sweeper, and you’ll see a polarizing response. Put simply, they work for some people, but they don’t for others.

I think it largely depends on the type of yard you have – the evenness of the terrain, and the material you’re trying to pick up.

Consider these factors with care when making a decision.

Can you use a lawn sweeper while mowing?

Yes, I don’t see why not – providing, of course, you’re talking about a tow-behind lawn sweeper for your ride-on mower.

In fact, this might be a very effective way of clearing your lawn, and mowing at the same time. Check out the video below for a great example of this technique in practice.

However, you might find that it’s challenging to maneuver, and adds to your work load when it comes to the stop-start process of emptying a full hopper.

Do lawn mower baggers work?

Yes. Although they arguably don’t collect as much material as a dedicated lawn sweeper that uses brushes to gather material.

Will a bagger pick up leaves?

Yes. Unless they’re particularly wet, of course. Lawnmower baggers are notorious for failing in damp conditions, and can clog easily.

What should I look for when buying a lawn sweeper?

I would say the following factors are most important:

  • Tow behind or push?
  • Gas or mechanical?
  • The size of the sweeper – how much ground it can cover in one pass.
  • The volume of the hopper – how much material it can hold before it needs to be emptied.
  • The overall quality and durability of the machine.
  • Cost.

When should you use a lawn sweeper?

A lawn sweeper (like a bagger) can be used at just about any time of year.

However, it’s most common to see them out during the fall, when nature decides to blanket our yards and gardens with leaves.

Still, anytime you see debris on your lawn, feel free to bring the sweeper out to take care of it. Its use is not solely restricted to a certain time of year.

Will a lawn sweeper pick up thatch?

Providing the thatch has already been raked up, then yes, a lawn sweeper will pick up thatch.

But if you’re thinking it will do the same job as a dethatching machine, then I’m afraid you’re out of luck.

For that, you’ll need one of these dedicated tools for the job – and don’t forget to check out our complete guide to dethatching your lawn while you’re at it.

Is a bagger necessary?

No. You don’t need to have a bagger attached to your lawnmower. I don’t use one when I’m mowing my lawn, because I prefer to mulch instead.

And thanks to the giant tree in our relatively small yard, our fall leaf problem is far too extreme for a small lawnmower and bag to handle.

However, they can still be extremely useful for clearing yard waste when using your mower like a vacuum cleaner – and/or if you have a larger property and a more heavy-duty bagger and vehicle.

When to Use a Lawn Sweeper and Why

Keeping one’s lawn tidy requires regular maintenance, especially when debris like leaves, rocks, sticks, and trash threaten to ruin the appearance of a well-kept lawn. To prevent your lawn from losing curb appeal, you can invest in equipment specifically designed to make lawn upkeep safe and virtually hassle free.

Visit our rental equipment inventory if you need lawn and garden equipment.

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What is a Lawn Sweeper?

A lawn sweeper operates similarly to a vacuum by easily gathering debris and leaves from the surface of one’s lawn; however, a lawn sweeper does not run on power. With its spinning brushes, the sweeper collects debris into its bag. There are two types of lawn sweepers available, including a manually perated one and a lawn sweeper that attaches to back of a lawn tractor. You can purchase a lawn sweeper wherever other household and garden appliances are sold.

There are several reasons why someone may choose to use a lawn sweeper instead of another piece of equipment. Lawn sweepers and leaf blowers share a common purpose: removing debris from one’s lawn. However, unlike lawn sweepers, leaf blowers are disruptive and potentially harmful. Not only can regular leaf blowing aggravate neighbors living close by, but it can also result in hearing loss if you’re not wearing protective gear. In addition to being noisy, leaf blowers create hazardous air pollution. Due to noise complaints and dangerous pollutants, the use of blowers has been banned in several areas.

A lawn sweeper also prevents debris from becoming entangled in the blades of a mower, reducing the likelihood that the blades will dull. Since it operates like a push mower, the lawn sweeper gathers debris more quickly than if you were to use another method. By collecting debris in one place (the sweeper’s bag), it’s easier to add this material to a compost pile. This can significantly reduce your time spent outdoors by eliminating the need to use a rake or pitchfork.

When Should You Use a Lawn Sweeper?

You should use a lawn sweeper once the leaves begin to fall. This is because it’s much easier to use a sweeper when leaves are dry, as opposed to when they’re wet. A lawn sweeper also comes in handy when cleaning driveways and sidewalks after a light snow of ½ inch or less.

During the seasonal months, a lawn sweeper is a good alternative for bagging grass if you don’t own either a bagging or mulching mower. Use a lawn sweeper instead of a broom or hose to clean off a dirty driveway or sidewalk. Sweeping a driveway with a broom requires more time and effort. Using a hose to wash off either a driveway or sidewalk may cause a steep rise in one’s water bill for the month. In the long run, you’ll save a lot of time and money when using a lawn sweeper.

A lawn sweeper is a helpful tool when maintaining the appearance of a lawn. In addition to getting rid of debris, a lawn sweeper is safer and more convenient than other lawn care equipment.

Agri-Fab 45-0492 Lawn Sweeper

The Agri-Fab, Inc. 44 in. Lawn Sweeper will help you maintain the lawn that you deserve. Why spend hours doing the back-breaking work required to clean up debris in your yard? A lawn sweeper will make your life easier because of its exceptional performance. Whether you are cleaning up grass clippings in the spring and summer or cleaning up leaves and small twigs in the fall, using an Agri-Fab Sweeper will make it easier. The 44 in. Lawn Sweeper will last you for years to come with proper care and use.

  • Replaces the backbreaking rake to make lawn care easy
  • Picks up everything, grass, leaves, even pine cones
  • Easy bag removal with retainer-lock design largest available
  • Offset switch allows user to mow and sweep simultaneously
  • Preset holes for height adjustment will adjust the brushes only, not the entire housing to ensure correct orientation of the sweeper to the tractor
  • Hitch easily, quickly adjusts to the height of the tractor hitch
  • Patented ergonomic easy dumping mechanism
  • 25 cu. ft. capacity flow-thru bag
  • 12″ x 3″ semi pneumatic tires and Four 10″ diameter brushes with 5:6:1 brush to wheel ratio
  • Brand Agri-Fab
  • Weight 92
  • Manufacturer Number 45-0492
  • SKU 7205636
  • Paint Code N
  • Accessory SKUs 7215239;74997
  • Weighted Rating 4.9
  • Brand Name Agri-Fab
  • Product Type Lawn Sweeper
  • Brand Name Agri-Fab
  • Height 52 inch
  • Length 78 inch
  • Model Number 45-0492
  • Width 55 inch
  • Power Equipment Family Lawn Equipment