I have a new large lawn and bought a riding Craftsman mower this summer. I am looking to get either a bagger or a lawn sweeper to collect the leaves. Any idea which works better?
Mulching leaves works best. Get a mulching blade and mower deck plug. A kit containing both costs about $50 at Sears.
I live in woods and mulch my leaves weekly during the fall. The mulched leaves add valuable organic material to my soil.
Mulching is much easier than bagging or sweeping. The problem with both is that you need to stop and empty the bagger or sweeper when they're full. That's a lot of stops if you have many trees and a large lawn. If you mulch your leaves, it will take the same time as it takes to mow your lawn.
I agree with deerslayer.
Mulch mow them.
Here's an example of a Craftsman mulch kit for a 48" mower deck.
48" Mulch Kit
I used to rake and then compost the raked leaves. Wasted effort. Now most of my leaves just get mulched mowed and allowed to decompose right where they do the most good. Mulched leaves are very very good for your lawn, garden and beds. Mow them in place and/or rake them into rows and mow em down. Bill Hill
Mulching may not work for the OP, depending on the type of grass. I noticed the OP is in NC....if he/she has bermuda, or another short grass mulching a high volume of leaves may not work...the grass is so short there is no place for the mulched leaves to go. I know from experience...used to mulch leaves all the time in VA with my TTTF lawn, but it doesn't work well with my NC bermuda lawn...the mulched leaves just sit on top of the short, dense grass.
I can't answer the OP's original question, as I have never used a sweeper. I usually just try to mow in a pattern so that I shoot the leaves into the woods.
tak2w, good point. That's why OPs should always indicate their type of grass and zone. It's much easier for the OP to supply that information than the responders to answer each question considering all grasses and zones.
Mulch then sweep or bag may work best with Bermuda. Mulch first to reduce the volume of the leaves. Also, some of the really small leaf particles may find their way through the Bermuda.
I have a TTTF with some KBG lawn which I always mulch mow at the highest setting for my 21" walking mower. When it comes to mulching the leaves; as well as the grass how low should I set the adjustment on the mower deck?
For mdr944. When mulching leaves, go one notch lower. In your case one notch lower than the highest setting. That works well for me and leaves the blades of grass able to get sun light. Bill Hill
I just purchased a home with many "gum trees"
Will these damage my mower or blade?
Do I need to sweep them up before I mode?