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ShopVac on the lawn?

Posted by Boats3 9a - San Antonio (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 8:12

Morning GW,

I was wondering if if any of you guys had every "vacuumed" your lawns? Mr. Hall has said repeatedly (I exhausted the search function) that a well kept yard shouldn't need it. Well, knowning now that was I have been doing and thinking was right was not at all right, I can see it parts of my yard on the side where it slopes down to the drainage area between my neighbor's house and mine, that there are places that have more than 1/4"-1/2" of thatch, mostly from last year.

I also can't really bag my clippings from the first cut. I'm using a Scotts Reel Mower ... hehe, can't afford those super duper ones like you guys use, and the bag attachment is less than ideal.

I started out using my blower to try to get out some of the thatch .... three batteries and an hour later, I was still making progress, but not quickly; it just blows up and settles back somewhere else.

I think it was the Shiner I had, lol, it occured to me that I have a very nice ShopVac that might help, so just out of curiosity, I vacuumed (yeah, I was vacuuming my lawn) about a five-foot wide strip from front door to sidwalk, which is about 25 feet. So in only 125 sq ft, I removed about 7-10 gallons of clippings and thatch.

It's a tedious process with a ShopVac, but I was interested to see if 1) it will help (it should, the thatch was making the water run straight down into the drainage area instead of the soil) and, 2) if any of you have ever done this.

I actually looked online and was surprised that they sell lawn vacuum equipment. I definitely can't afford (and don't need) one of those riding, tractor systems, and the smaller ones have horrible reviews. I think my 5hp ShopVac is more powerful.

Thanks for the insight guys!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: ShopVac on the lawn?

Thatch is primary grass stem material which due to its structure is very slow to decay. Leaf clippings decay quite readily and contribute very little if anything to thatch. In fact leaving the clippings on the lawn to decay (and plant leaf decays very easily) can return up to 1/2 pound of nitrogen to your lawn. Good lawn maintenance can help reduce/avoid thatch build up--i.e. not overfertilizing, building up the micro-organisms that eat thatch, etc. Some grasses and lawns will inevitable end up with thatch (Zyosia comes to mind) and the only effective methods to remove it is by mechanical means of de-thatching or core aeration. A shop vac isn't one of those methods.

RE: ShopVac on the lawn?

Not a shop vac, but I have used a lawn vac. They are used to small debris, but made to pick up pecans and acorns.

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