It’s fall again and the beauty of dry leaves falling from trees is quite a spectacle. However, there also goes the start of having tons of acorns in lawns which are food for most animals but a major nuisance for most homeowners.
Learning how to pick up acorns fast not only saves your back from breaking but also prevents future pest infestations.
In this post, we will share several tips and tricks that most homeowners use to make yard cleaning easy and convenient, even for the elderly.
We will also mention why it’s essential to keep your yard free from acorns and maintain a safe haven for you and your family.
5 Easy Ways To Pick Up Acorns Without Breaking Your Back
Acorns are the fruit of oak trees. They span around 1 to 6 inches and take six months to a year to reach full maturity.
An oak tree produces about 10,000 acorns every mast year. With that amount of acorns, it can be a challenge to clean your lawn.
Unlike dry leaves, acorns are harder to gather due to their weight and size. They can also attract other unwanted animals to your garden which can be a source of another problem.
So, here are some ways to ease the challenge of cleaning up the acorns in your yard:
1. Wet & Dry Vacuum
A leaf vacuum is probably the easiest and low-impact tool to use in getting rid of the acorns in your yard.
You will need a vacuum that has a strong suction since acorns are a bit heavier. Another important part is the long vacuum nozzle to prevent you from leaning forward when suctioning the acorns.
Here are some of the best wet & dry vacuums that you can use not only for the dust in your house but also for cleaning acorns:
Dewalt is a 16-gallon wet/dry vacuum that is ideal for large pick-ups like acorns. It has a powerful suction power with its 6.5 peak horsepower motor and 16 airflow CFM. It also comes with a 20-feet long cord which makes it suitable for outdoor cleaning.
The vacuum comes with 3 disposable filter bags, a silencing muffler and a convenient hose adaptor to attach to the tank drain, and nozzles. It can suction 16 gallons of acorns as long as you remove the filters. It also comes with a built-in storage bag to store all of its accessories like extra nozzles. The parts are also durable and rubberized to prevent leakage in suctioning liquids.
Another vacuum option for picking up acorns fast is the CRAFTSMAN 16-Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vacuum. It is a heavy-duty vacuum that has a 2 ½ -inch diameter and 7-foot hose with 80-degree mobility to prevent kinking. It comes with 2 extension wands, 3 nozzles for utility, car, and wet use, a Qwik lock filter, and a dust collection bag.
Most homeowners see this vacuum as a relief since it can suction small and large acorns. It also doesn’t clog in the nozzles during the cleaning process.
However, the manufacturer doesn’t include acorns or any seeds as the typical type of clutter where it can be used.
The important thing that you need to modify to make it work as a nut picker is to remove the inner sponge-like filter and the round filter outside of the vacuum to improve the suction power.
If you have no mobility problems and can spare a little walk around your yard, the good old Bag-A-Nut can be worth the investment.
As it rolls, the nuts are trapped in the tines and get into a big basket at the front. It’s good for picking up nuts on concrete pavements and grass.
If you have several oak trees in your yard, investing in a bag-a-nut can be a lifesaver. It can pick up nuts with a diameter of 3/8 inches to 1 1/4 inches. It’s not only suitable for acorns but also other nuts like pecans and chestnuts.
If you are only picking acorns from a tree or two, maybe it’s too much to spend $400 to $500 on a Bag-A-Nut or a vacuum cleaner.
A simple tool called nut weasel or nut gatherer is a simple tool that you can replace for your rake. It is made of thin wires where nuts will be stuck once you roll it over.
You need to apply a little bit of force for this tool to work. If the only thing that is not working between you and your rake is patience, this has a fighting chance to make your life so much easier.
You can use it for small seeds like acorns, pecans, or gumballs. For larger seeds, Garden Weasel has another tool designed for it.
4. Power Broom or Lawn Sweeper
For cleaning up tons of acorns in your lawn, you can also speed up your cleaning using a power broom or lawn sweeper.
A power broom is a gas-powered machine that can help you pile the nuts and debris in one place. You may rent it for around $30 to $50 from your local garden stores or invest in one if you’re planning long-term.
Lawn sweeper on the other hand deposits the nuts and debris in a bag behind it for a more convenient trash collection.
Here’s one of the best brands for picking up acorns:
If you are looking for a multi-purpose tool to clean up your lawn or planning to send a gift to your elderly parents, Earthwise Lawn Sweeper can be a great garden saver.
It can clean up all piles of dirt ahead of it and place them in a bag at the back. It is lightweight, so you no longer need to exert extra force to get all the nuts in the ground.
This lawn sweeper has a height adjustment so you can use it on both lawns and concrete pavements. It is also not motorized, so you no longer need to worry about the noise and distance of the power source.
If you’re someone who’s just looking for a technique to make cleaning up acorns easier and faster with the same old rake, here’s a strategy coined by Ken Webb for you. Use your rake upside down where all of the teeth of the tines are facing upward.
The best thing about this strategy is it does not drag on the grass and soil as it piles up the acorns. The acorns are just on the surface so gliding them with the smoother side of the rake isolates them from the other stuff in the ground.
Try it in your yard using a good quality rake from Ames here.
The Alternatives: Other Uses Of Acorns
If you’ve been dealing with a lot of acorns for several years, the urge to throw them all out can be more overpowering than thinking about other ways to make use of them.
However, to support a more sustainable environment, we must remember that every seed and nut can serve as food and a future oak tree.
So, instead of throwing all the acorns into the trash or burning them, here are some of the alternatives that you can do for acorns:
Make Acorns As a Healthy Alternative Snack.
Acorns are a popular food for squirrels and other birds. However, some of us are not aware that acorns are also edible for us humans. They can be used as roasted acorns, grounded into flour, and extracted as oil.
Acorns are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants and help lower bad cholesterol.
Here’s how to use acorns as a healthy snack:
- Remove the top cap of the acorns using a hammer or a nutcracker.
- Lay the acorns on a table and place a tissue paper over them.
- Use a hammer or meat mallet to crack off the shells of the acorns.
- Remove all the shells and wash the acorns. Get rid of the floating ones because they’ve already gone bad.
- Cut the acorns into half and remove the ones that went bad.
- Boil three pots of boiled water at the same time. You need to boil the acorns to remove the tannins which are toxic and poisonous.
- Place the acorns in one pot of boiling water and boil them for five or more minutes until the water turns dark brown. The dark brown substance is the tannins from the nuts.
- Keep boiling the acorns until the water stops turning into a different color.
- Once the tannins are gone, you can place the acorns in a baking pan and drizzle some salt over them.
- Set the oven to 350 °F (177 °C) and cook it for 15 minutes.
- Once done, you may place the roasted acorns in a clean jar or mix them in your trail mix.
Give Your Collected Acorns To Zoos and Pet Owners.
Acorns may look like a nuisance to most homeowners but not for the cute squirrels visiting your garden. You may collect them all and donate them to the nearest zoo or a pet organization to feed animals.
The following animals can eat acorns and tolerate the toxic tannins:
- Wild turkeys
- Bobwhite quail
- Wood ducks
- Acorn woodpeckers
- Fox squirrels
- Flying squirrels
- Wild hogs
- White-tailed deer
- Red and gray foxes
Give Them Clean and Green Projects That Aim To Plant More Trees.
You may also find some local organizations that collect seeds or seedlings to promote environmental projects against climate change.
Due to the growing destruction of forests and wildlife habitats, every seed and every planted oak tree can make a great impact for the future generations.
Why It’s Essential To Use or Get Rid of Acorns
If you think about it, you can actually leave acorns in the ground. After all, they are biodegradable and can be left in the ground to decay and rot to serve as a fertilizer to the soil.
However, there are some factors that will make you consider cleaning acorns up as soon as you see them piling up in your yard.
- Destroy your lawn mower: Acorns can get stuck in your lawnmower and can be a headache when you try to maintain your lawn.
- Attracts unwanted pests: Racoons and squirrels may visit your yard frequently and live in some parts of your house like in a crack in your siding or under your porch. What’s worse is they can also attract other predators that may cause harm.
- Grows into a seedling in unwanted places: Acorns are generally seeds of oak trees. So, leaving them in the middle of your lawn for too long may let them mistake it as if you’re trying to grow them.
- Adds up to the mess: Thousands of acorns can be just as messy as tons of dry leaves in your yard. They can be very unpleasant to the eye.
- Poisonous to pets and kids: Kids and pets playing in your yard may mistake them as something that they can eat. Prevent possible poisoning by getting rid of the acorns before you let them play outdoors.
- Painful to step on: Lastly, who wouldn’t hate to step on something that’s too tough. Just imagine how painful it can be to step on them or slip because of the acorns in your driveway. It is also going to be an issue if you have an elderly or someone with physical disability at home.
We hope that this post has helped you learn how to pick up acorns in several ways and repurpose them into something more sustainable.
Let us know in the comments which method works best for your lawn. Also, if you find this post informative, please share it with your friends and help them save up so much time and effort cleaning their property.
Enjoy cleaning those pesky acorns!