If you have oak trees in your yard, chances are you have tons upon tons of acorns in it now too. During the fall months, acorns fall by the dozens into yards and on sidewalks and driveways, leaving you to wonder what to do with them. Sure you could just sweep them up and toss them out, but believe it or not there are a few creative ways to use your acorns instead. Take a look below at 5 creative uses for acorns that you can try this fall season. You may never look at them the same way again.
- Best Way to Pick Up Acorns from Yard – Tools & Tips
- How to Clean Acorns from Yard
- Contact the Professionals at Zodega TIS
- Scorn for acorns: 3 new ways to clean up the mess
- Master Gardeners: Compost oak leaves
- Ask Mr. Smarty Plants
- Are Acorns Bad for Your Lawn?
- What is an acorn?
- Are acorns bad for your lawn?
- Is there any reason to remove them from my lawn?
- How can I remove acorns from my lawn?
- Removing Acorns from a Lawn
- Erma Bombeck Would Have Loved This!
5 Creative Uses for Acorns
1. Make a rustic wreath.
Get a simple foam wreath form and gather dozens of acorns. You can leave the caps on or off if you wish, it is up to you. Then, start hot gluing the acorns onto the wreath form in uniform lines until all of the spaces are filled in. Then, you can either leave it rustic or add some glam by giving it a coat of spray paint.
2. Use as a vase filler.
Buy clear vases in assorted sizes and fill them with acorns. Leave a little room at the top for a dollar store battery operated votive. These arrangements will make great centerpieces as well. If you feel really crafty, prior to filling the vases you can toss the acorns in glitter or even give them a coat of spray paint.
3. Feed your feathered friends.
Whole acorns may be hard for birds and other yard critters to crack open, so do the hard work for them. Place a bunch of acorns in a bag and smash them up with a hammer. Roll the mixture in some peanut butter and then spread it onto a cardboard paper towel roll. Hang the roll outside and watch the wildlife flock. They will love you for it.
4. Donate them!
Many zoos or wildlife organizations would be happy to get your acorns. They can use them in food mixtures and sensory activities they provide for the animals. If you have a local animal shelter or zoo in your community, call them up and see if they can use them. Most likely they will be thrilled to take them off your hands.
5. Start seedlings.
It is easy to start seedlings using acorns. Just soak them in water for a bit to soften them up and then plant them in a small cup as you would any other seed. Tend to it with light and water until it sprouts. Seedlings make great gifts especially when celebrating a milestone such as a birthday, wedding, or baptism!
Who knew there were so many practical uses for acorns? This fall season, don’t just toss all of yours away. Instead, gather a bucket or two of them up and give some of these simple uses a try. You might be surprised at what you can come up with and how valuable these little treats really are.
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Best Way to Pick Up Acorns from Yard – Tools & Tips
Acorns can be a pain to clean up, especially in Houston, where acorns come down heavily in the fall. Acorn producing Oak trees are some of the best trees for Houston landscapes.
With autumn in full swing, now is the time to spend time in acorn pick up. Besides cluttering your yard, here are some reasons for pickin up acorns:
- Acorns can hurt your lawn and inhibit the growth of your grass.
- Acorns can sprout, creating seedlings that you’ll have to handle if they aren’t cleaned up promptly.
- Acorns are used as food for some pests. Not just squirrels, but mice that carry disease may use the acorns as food.
- When you mow your lawn, too many acorns can be dangerous. Your lawnmower may spit them out, causing injury. If you have kids who love to run around barefoot, stepping on acorns can hurt.
How to Clean Acorns from Yard
You’re probably wondering – what can I do with fallen acorns? Here are a few ways you can pick up acorns easily.
Pick Up Acorns Early
The best way to get acorns out of the yard is to do it before they hit the yard. Before fall strikes, put tarps or netting around your Oak trees. Shake the tree’s limbs if they have acorns and they should fall to the tarp.
Afterwards, you can use them to dispose of the acorns. This type of collection is common for olive farmers and can work for your acorn disposal as well.
Picking Up Acorns from Lawn
Picking acorns up by hand is the most affordable way, but unless you have a small lawn, picking them up with your hands isn’t the best way to clean up acorns. Consider using professional lawn care and landscaping services or lawn accessories if your time is valuable.
The Leaf Vacuum
The leaf vacuum, also known as just a lawn vacuum, can suck up any acorns and leaves from the area. Some vacuums are stronger than others, so make sure the motor is powerful and can do the job.
Lawn vacuums can be rented or purchased, so talk to the seller or loaner about how to pick up acorns with their vacuums. Like any vacuum, empty it out when it’s full or when you’re finished.
Regular shop vacuums can work as well, but it depends on the size of the vacuum, its power, and the area of your lawn.
The Lawn Sweeper
A lawn sweeper is an attachment to a lawnmower that collects debris that the lawnmower may have trouble handling. Will a lawn sweeper pick up acorns?
Lawn sweepers can pick up twigs, leaves, and acorns. They do this by either sucking them up like a vacuum or using rotating brushes to toss them into a collection bin. However, it isn’t an option if you don’t have equipment that can pull the lawn sweeper.
The Nut Gatherer
The next way in our list of how to pick up acorns from your yard is the nut gatherer. Also known as a weasel. This rolling device picks up objects, including acorns, and puts them inside of a basket. Once you’re done, all you do is empty the basket. It’s quite easy to use and requires no gasoline or electricity. However, it’s not very efficient for bigger jobs.
Finally, if you want a cost-effective solution but don’t want to use your hands, a rake always works. It’s the last step in our list of how to pick up acorns in your yard.
Raking up acorns helps you gather debris into one pile, which you can then scoop up and dispose of. However, if you have a giant lawn with several Oaks, you’re better off using a more powerful acorn pickup tool. Rakes are good for smaller jobs, however. While not the best way to pick up acorns, it works.
And that’s how to clean up acorns from your yard. If your yard is sizable and you feel overwhelmed, contact the Houston lawn service experts at Zodega TIS.
Contact the Professionals at Zodega TIS
Zodega TIS is a landscaping company that provides residential and commercial landscaping for everyone in the Houston area. Contact us today to request a quote on your property!
Scorn for acorns: 3 new ways to clean up the mess
Sure, little baby oak trees are cute when they sprout, but we don’t need thousands of them popping up on our lawns. Here are three methods to use on all those acorns.
Massachusetts non-profit environmental group Mass Audubon tells us large oaks can drop up to10,000 acorns in one year. A 10,000 acorn year is called a “mast” year, and it would be the peak of a 2-5 year boom/bust cycle that oaks experience. After a mast year, bust years bring very few acorns comparatively. This is why some autumns, walking across your lawn feels like stepping on marbles while in other seasons it’s as smooth as a summer breeze. If your trees are having a mast year and your squirrels seem to be on strike, read on.
Even if your squirrels are no-shows, you may want to begin the clean-up as soon as you find the first acorns dropped on your lawn. Squirrels will likely come eventually to bury acorns for the winter. The problem is, squirrels soon forget the location of their stashes. The acorns sprout and new trees pop up. This is great if you have the acreage to support it a new oak forest, but if you want to preserve your perfectly placed patio, then acorn clearing is key. The fewer acorns available for sprouting, the better. Beginning early may mean a few extra passes or two over the landscape but it may save more work in the long run.
We often avoid the acorn clean-up because of the back-straining raking it requires. Traditionally a rake, scoop, bucket and several hours of elbow grease were the only way to rid the yard of Mr. Oak Tree’s mess. Now we have gadgets to help speed up the clean up.
Shop-Vacs. Strong suction is a technological marvel. A dry/wet vac is designed for big messes, and it does a great job on acorn clearing. Optimally, you will vacuum up the acorns on a dry day, helping you to avoid clogging up the shop vac’s tube with mud and wet leaves. Dry/wet vacs are designed to suck up liquid spills, but you still want to be extra careful. For added safety, use a ground fault interrupter (GFI) outlet for plugging in when you can, but a grounded extension cord should be sufficient.
Besides the good ol’ rake, hardware and lawn stores have a tools made specifically for grabbing acorns from the lawn or hardscape surfaces. Two of the main trademarked tools are a Garden Weasel and a Bag-a-Nut Harvester. These are two very differently-priced options but the “trap” gathering concept is the same. Both tools are pushed or pulled over the yard while the acorns are grabbed and stored in a holding chamber. The Garden Weasel is a flexible wire, oblong ball at the end of a push stick. The oblong ball looks similar to a lottery or bingo-ball machine. The flexible wires move over the acorn and snap back into place underneath it, effectively trapping the acorn inside the bingo ball. To empty the Garden Weasel of acorns, you pull apart the wires and shake them out. Garden Weasels can be found for under $50 and can hang on the garage wall when not in use.
The Bag-A-Nut brand has several orb-collector designs. These tools are large and seem to be meant for larger, more industrial applications. Some are made to be pulled by a tractor, some are front-push like mowers. The tech is a trap-and-dump tech, where small rubbery “fingers” pick up the acorns and a straight edge pops them out into a front-loaded bucket. The buckets are large and can hold several pounds of acorns before needing to be emptied. These models are priced into the hundreds of dollars. A smaller Bag-A-Nut will occupy the same amount of storage space as a large snow-blower or front-push lawnmower.
Dump and done!
Be sure to occasionally dump the acorns as you clear the yard. A too-heavy bucket is no fun. That goes for garbage bags, too. Don’t fill them to the top or you’ll need a crane to get it down to the curb. Municipalities that collect yard waste usually accept acorns within that natural debris pick-up, but you don’t want to make any individual bag or can too heavy to lift. If you have a soft spot for the local fauna (and some dense woods), you can leave the acorns in a pile for their winter meals.
There are no bad jobs, just bad tech. Move past the rake and your oak tree’s boom year won’t have to mean your back’s bust year.
Master Gardeners: Compost oak leaves
Q. I have a large number of oak leaves and I am wondering if I can use them in my compost.
A. I am so glad that you are thinking of composting your oak leaves and not burning them. Burning leaves contributes to our poor air quality and also removes a valuable nutrient resource from your yard. All leaves can be composted. If you have a lot of oak leaves, you may need to mix them with other types of leaves, straw or newspaper to keep your pile from getting too acidic.
There are a couple of ways to compost. The lazy way is to build a pile is by layering greens and browns in an out-of-the-way corner and let it stand. The pile should be at least 3 feet by 3 feet. You will need to water the pile during the summer to keep it moist and you may want to cover the pile in the winter so it does not get too wet. After about six months or so it will have turned to compost. Disadvantages to this method are leaching of nutrients in winter rains, and the survival of weed seeds because the pile didn’t get hot enough to kill them.
Another way is to hot compost. This method produces compost quickly, in as few as two to three weeks. Start by chopping the green and brown materials with a mower or spade so they are no bigger than a half inch to one and a half inches and then layer to create a 3-foot by 3-foot pile.
Keep the pile moist and turn weekly. This mixes the hot center with the cooler sides, and speeds up the process. The less often you turn the pile, the slower the process moves. To get the recommended carbon to nitrogen ratio of 30-to-1, use equal parts dry (brown) materials such as dead leaves, dry grass, straw, shredded newspaper or cardboard, etc., and green materials such as grass clippings, wilted flowers, green prunings, weeds, fresh garbage and fruit and vegetable waste.
The optimum pile size is 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet and compost in a bin because it retains heat better. Be sure to mix materials well so they don’t mat. Nothing needs to be added to compost.
Avoid adding soil, ashes or manure from meat-eating animals. Your pile should heat up quickly and have a pleasant odor. Advantages of this method are the quick recycling of waste materials into a usable soil amendment and most weed seeds are killed by the hot temperatures in the pile.
Compost makes a valuable addition to your garden soil; it uses what you might otherwise discard, and it’s easy to create. For more information on composting check out the following website form the Nevada County Master Gardeners http://ncmg.ucanr.org/Composting_Resources/
The Shasta Master Gardeners Program can be reached by phone at 530 242-2219 or email [email protected] The gardener office is staffed by volunteers trained by the University of California to answer gardeners’ questions using information based on scientific research.
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Tuesday – October 11, 2011
From: Austin, TX
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Trees
Title: Removal of live oaks leaves on lawn in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford
We have about a half inch or so of mostly live oak leaves still on the ground which I thought was good root protection and also holds in moisture. There is a small group of people in our condo subdivision who want to see all the leaves removed. Can you please advise me? What will happen if we remove all the leaves?
Usually, we try to stay out of homeowner’s disagreements, including Homeowner Association Rules. However, since you asked, we will tell you what we think of leaving live oak leaves on the ground. We realize that you are looking at this as a mulch, and possibly also thinking of allowing those leaves to “compost in place.” We are always in favor of mulches and compost for, as you say, protecting roots and holding in moisture. However, we can tell you from personal experience that live oak leaves resist composting. We had a very active compost pile and one big live oak that, of course, dumped all its leaves right after we had finally gotten all the post oak leaves into the compost pile. We quickly learned that trying to ignore them didn’t work. The only way those live oak leaves were going to break down and help the soil was for them to be intensively composted. In our case, this included working them into a lot of brown material (the post oak leaves), keeping it moist, perhaps adding grass clippings or cottonseed meal for nitrogen to keep it cooking. And still, a year later, the live oak leaves were intact and green, standing out in the rest of the lovely soft brown compost. We realize that in a condo subdivision you do not have room for a compost pile, and it might not even be allowed. But we also discovered that just leaving those leaves lying there made the area look very trashy, and other small bits of twigs and debris got intermixed into it, and it all blew around, everywhere.
We do hate to see those leaves raked up and sent to the landfill-a lot of water and nutrition went into them. We once lived in a town (Brenham) where you could take your leaves and clippings to a community compost pile. The city would not take those materials to the landfills, bagged up in plastic bags. We tried to find out if Austin had such a project, but we did find this article from the Austin Chronicle The Dirt on Composting. City of Austin Solid Waste Services has a website on a Home Composting Rebate Challenge.
Beyond that, we don’t think we can offer a solution, just the suggestion that perhaps you and your neighbors could find a productive way to do away with leaves on the ground, turning them into good DIRT!
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Not all mulch is created equal. Types of mulch range from great to not-something-you’d-want-in your-garden.
The Compost Solution
If you’re looking for a rich, black mulch containing ample nutrients for your plants, the answer is simple—use garden or kitchen compost!
If you’re going to compost organic materials yourself, make sure to have just the right balance of brown (carbon-rich) and green (nitrogen-rich) materials, so that your compost will break down efficiently. If you don’t have a lot of material to work with and if quick-and-easy composting is of the utmost importance to you, you might want to invest in a compost tumbler. But here at Southern Exposure, we do it the old-fashioned way! If you, too, have an open-style bin, make sure to turn it with a garden fork every two weeks to aerate the pile and to move dry material from the outer edges to the center.
You’ll know when your compost is ready because it will look beautifully dark and crumbly, and should smell earthy. Still see an orange peel? It’s not done! You definitely should not be able to pick out any original ingredients. If you don’t have the time or means to make compost yourself, give your township a call. Many municipalities compost the yard waste they collect and then offer the finished product back to their residents.
Hay: Not Just for Horses…
…it’s also for your garden! Here at Southern Exposure, we often use hay and straw to mulch our crops.
Hay comes from grasses and legumes such as alfalfa or clover that are cut, dried, and used to feed farm animals. Straw, on the other hand, has little to no nutritional value for animals–it is made from dried, mostly-hollow stalks of grain. Straw and hay make for different mulching experiences.
Hay is nice and heavy, so it is likely to stay put once placed in your garden. However, when mulching with hay, be aware that it could contain weed or grain seeds that may eventually sprout. This is not really an issue with straw, but straw is much lighter than hay, which means that you’ll have to use a lot more of it to get it to stick around come wind and rain.
Oak’s No Joke
If you’re a fellow resident of Virginia, where live oaks are commonplace, you might want to try using oak leaves as mulch. Live oaks are classified as evergreens because they hold onto their leaves all winter long…but come springtime, keep your eyes peeled! You won’t have to look very hard to find fallen oak leaves in abundance, as live oaks drop their leaves over a two-week period each spring.
Oak leaves add acidity to soil, so make sure you’re using them on plants that can tolerate this. You can either directly mulch your garden with oak leaves, or compost them first (chopping them up with a lawn mower or other tool will help them to decompose faster, as will mixing them with nitrogen-rich materials).
The Electric Pine Needle Acid Test
Using pine needles as mulch, which is often called pine straw, is a good idea when you are looking to increase the acidity of your soil. Garlic, mint, onion, blueberry and tomato plants would appreciate this, as would azaleas, chrysanthemum, rhododendron, and roses.
And besides giving certain plants their acid fix, pine needles bind together to provide a weed-suppressing blanket that is unlikely to wash away with heavy rains.
Another great thing about using pine needles as mulch is that you can easily collect it yourself. Even if you don’t have pine trees on your property, neighbors with pines might happily agree to let you scoop needles off their grass—the needles’ high acidity makes for splotchy lawns!
Coulda Shoulda Wooda
Wood mulch is a common type of mulch because it’s good at suppressing weed growth. But if you’re planning on buying commercially produced wood mulch, be aware that it may be made out of trashed wood, which could add arsenic and other chemicals to your soil.
Also, if you want to avoid moldy mulch, using wood chips as mulch might not be the best choice. Now, some molds and fungi—natural aspects of the decomposition process for all organic material—are benign or even beneficial for plants. But others are nuisances. Case in point: wood mulch can breed a nasty mold called “shotgun” or “artillery” fungus, which leaves impossible-to-remove spores that look like balls of tar on homes and cars.
If you’re still into the idea of using wood mulch, why don’t you try sawdust? The founder of Southern Exposure originally used sawdust as mulch in his garden, and he had no problems with it.
Rubber Mulch: Old Tire Chunks on Your Plants?!
For instance, did you know that many types of mulch you can buy in the store are thickened with ground rubber, potentially from used tires? Though rubber mulch might be good for playgrounds (if you don’t mind exposing your kids to the chemicals components of artificial rubber, but hey—we’re not talking child rearing here), it simply does not belong in your garden.
The cons of using rubber as a mulch ingredient far outweigh the fact that rubber contains a small amount of nitrogen. Zinc, cadmium and other heavy metals from rubber mulch could seep into your soil. Plus, it stinks in the heat!
What’s Mulch Got To Do With It?
In conclusion, we just want to reiterate something you’ve hopefully already figured out—mulch is very important! All mulch types help soil and root health by retaining moisture, managing temperature, and preventing weed growth.
Are Acorns Bad for Your Lawn?
Squirrels rejoice when acorns fall from the trees each autumn, but do you? Most of us simply ignore acorns, just as we ignore gumballs, samaras, pinecones, pods, and all those other gifts from the trees. However, if you have a lot of acorns in your yard and you enjoy spending time outside, you might find them unpleasant to step on. Plus, you might be concerned that they will harm the health of your grass. Are acorns bad for your lawn? What about all those other fruits and seeds that fall from the trees—are they harmful? Is there any reason to remove acorns, pinecones, and gumballs?
Your queries will soon be answered because today Nixa Lawn Service is investigating how acorns affect the grass.
What is an acorn?
Before we delve into their effect on grass health, let’s talk about what acorns are. An acorn is a nut from an oak tree. Each acorn contains a seed (sometimes two seeds), which is contained in a tough shell and born from a cupule. Many animals eat acorns (sometimes as an essential part of their diet), including squirrels, birds, mice, deer, pigs, and bears. In early human history, acorns were also an important part of many cultures’ diets.
Are acorns bad for your lawn?
The answer is “not really”. Although they don’t benefit grass very much, they shouldn’t damage your lawn either. If you have a large number of acorns and they stay in the same place for a long time, a bald spot could develop. However, most acorns are eventually taken by squirrels or ground up in the lawnmower and left to decompose, returning nutrients to the soil. Similarly, gumballs, samaras, and pinecones will not harm your grass.
Related Post: Common Lawn Pests
Is there any reason to remove them from my lawn?
Sure, there are several reasons, though they aren’t common concerns for most homeowners. First, you might simply dislike how the acorns look on your lawn. Second, you might dislike stepping on them if you often walk around your yard barefoot. Third, acorns can make someone slip (this is very dangerous for seniors), especially if they fall on a hard surface. Fourth, plentiful acorns can attract rodents and other animals to your yard (some of which will dig holes in the yard to fill with their bounty). Fifth, they can make it difficult to mow your lawn because the ground’s surface will be bumpy and uneven. There is also a chance that they will damage your lawn mower’s blade.
Related Post: Do I Need to Rake My Lawn?
How can I remove acorns from my lawn?
You can remove the acorns by using a strong vacuum. You could also rake them up if you have a fine-toothed rake and some time on your hands. Next, if you prepare ahead of time, you could layout fine netting to catch the acorns as they fall (and drag them away after they’ve fallen). And finally, you can always call in lawn care professionals!
If you want an acorn and leaf-free lawn and you live in southwest Missouri, give Nixa Lawn Service a call. In addition to regular lawn mowing and grass care, we offer leaf removal and tree services. To receive a free quote, or contact us at 417-724-0318.
Removing Acorns from a Lawn
Tip: Removing Acorns From Your Lawn
January 24, 2006
Our oak tree dumps a lot of acorns on the lawn. What is the best way to get them out of the lawn?
Hardiness Zone: 8a
Holly from Richardson, TX
There really isn’t any magical solution to getting them out of the lawn. The best way to clean up acorns is simply to rake or vacuum them up. Another option is just to leave them on the ground and the insects and squirrels will soon devour them. Acorns make a good addition to the compost pile. Collect them in a burlap bag and then drive over them a few times with the car before tossing them on the heap. This will help them breakdown faster.
If you’ve never tried harvesting them for their meat, try it. It might make cleaning them up more tolerable. Acorns are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. They are also relatively low in fat compared to other nuts. The meat of the nut is too bitter to snack on like other nuts, so it is usually processed into meal and used the same way that corn meal is used.
Burr, white and swamp oak acorns contain the least amount of tannins.
To harvest, collect only acorns without any visible holes on the shells. Lay them out on a cookie sheet and dry them in the over at 175 degrees from about an hour (stir them to prevent burning). Crack the shells open and remove the meat. The meat should be yellow, not black or moldy. Place the meat in a food processor or run it through a grinder. Place the ground meat in a large bowl and pour hot or boiling water over it. Let it stand for 1 hour and them drain off the murky-colored water (tannins). Continue to do this until the meat loses its bitter flavor and then dry the meat in a food dehydrator or on a cookie sheet in the over on low heat. When the meat is completely dry, grind it into a fine meal using a grain mill or stone. Store the meal in the freezer until you need it.
Comment Was this helpful? January 25, 20060 found this helpful Top Comment
Acorns can be eaten but you will likely get a stomach ache due to the high tannin content. Acorns must be leached 3-4 times first, before being eaten.
We just rake them up with the leaves and toss the whole mess back into the forest on our land.
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Erma Bombeck Would Have Loved This!
Welcome to the 405th Metamorphosis Monday!
Imagine you arrive home one evening an hour or so before nightfall. As you pull into your driveway, you glance over and see something rather shocking. Your next door neighbor is outside in her front yard, merrily vacuuming the lawn while grinning and laughing maniacally.
A. Smile, wave and act like everything is normal
B. Call the authorities
Fortunately, my neighbors chose option A. 😉
You may remember a while back when I blogged about a unique way of removing acorns from the lawn during those years when you have a bumper crop. (See that previous post here: Gardening Challenges and A Wacky Idea That Just May Work.) Some years are definitely worse than others and the oak tree in my front yard was especially prolific this year.
Unfortunately, when the grass gets cut, it never gets up the majority of the acorns. I know it’s not good for the grass to just leave the acorns laying there. Plus, it’s dangerous. I have slipped so many times today trying to walk down the hill along the side of my house over the last few days. It’s like trying to walk on a bed of big, fat marbles.
Two years ago, I saw a YouTube video where a guy used a shop vac to vacuum up acorns. Actually, I found two of those videos online, one where a guy was vacuuming them off his driveway and another where a woman was vacuuming them from her lawn.
It was another gorgeous day here today so I got a wild hair and decided to give this vacuuming thing a try. I grabbed a really long extension cord from my garage and retrieved the shop vac from the basement where I keep it for vacuuming up sawdust when I’m working on a woodworking project. You can see it there in the background in this photo taken when I was building a cubby organizer. (DIY Cubby Organizer Tutorial can be found here: Build a Cubby Organizer, Pottery Barn Inspired)
I did a little test vacuuming in this spot on the side of the house and dang, if it didn’t work great! See how clear that little area is below? I was amazed! The grass is already going dormant here from lack of water (we need rain badly) so it was pretty easy to vacuum them up.
I decided to start up in front of the house where the Trick-or-Treaters who visit tonight will most likely walk as they cross my yard to visit the neighbor’s house next door. After vacuuming for a few minutes, I opened up the lid and peered inside. Yep, working great! I dumped the acorns into a big trash bag and kept going.
I completely filled up the container during the next vacuuming session. I know it doesn’t look full, but it really was. The shop vac has a huge filter attached to the lid and it fits down inside the container when the lid is in place. When I removed the lid, the filter came out with the lid (since it’s attached) and the acorns settled down into the container.
I dumped all the acorns into the same trash bag where I had emptied the others. I soon regretted that. It was really heavy and a challenge to drag over to my outdoor trash can. If you try this, I recommend dumping each full container of acorns into a new trash bag. If you don’t, you may have trouble lifting the bag to get it into your outdoor can.
I was actually sad when it started getting dark outside and I had to stop. There is something so satisfying about hearing those acorns clang their way up and into the container, not to mention the satisfaction of seeing a smooth, grassy lawn reappear.
Also, I was really enjoying listening to Bill Bryson’s book, The Road to Little Dribbling with my Sony, Bluetooth Noise Canceling Headphones. I found myself laughing out loud so many times, thus the “maniacal laughing” while vacuuming the grass. So far, I think this book is funnier and more interesting than, Notes from a Small Island, which was the first of his books that I read and enjoyed.
My neighbors came home in the midst of all this vacuuming craziness. Their driveway is just on the other side of the oak tree. As they pulled in, I glanced up just in time to see them wave.
I confidently waved back and then resumed my vacuuming as if it were the most normal thing in the world. Hey, if you’re gonna do crazy, ya gotta own it! No telling what they were thinking at the sight of their next door neighbor out vacuuming the front lawn. Ha!
I couldn’t help but laugh as this scene reminded me way too much of Erma Bombeck’s book, The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank. In Chapter 10 titled, Super Mom, Erma talks about her new neighbor with the always perfect home, perfect children and perfect life. Erma writes, “The moving van hadn’t been gone a minute when we saw her in the yard waxing her garden hose.” Think Bree from Desperate Housewives. lol
This was the last batch I sucked up right before calling it quits for the night. I’ll get back out there tomorrow, I’m on a roll now! 🙂
Tips for Shop-Vacuuming Up Acorns from Grass, aka, What Worked for Me
If you also have a tremendously prolific oak tree that has blessed you this year with an abundance of acorns, here are some tips I would recommend if you decide to try this. Please note: I can’t be responsible if you break your shop vac. Mine handled this very well, but your mileage may vary.
- Cut the grass reasonably short before getting started. It’s much easier to suck up the acorns when you’re not having to deal with tall grass.
- Empty the container into a new trash bag each time it fills up. I found the bag was too heavy to carry if I dumped in more than one shop vac container of acorns at the time.
- I always keep my grass higher than most folks do because I feel like it tolerates our hot Georgia summers better than if it were cut short. Also, the type grass I have (Zeon Zoysia) is really dense. The taller grass made vacuuming up the acorns in some areas a little harder. In the really lush, dense areas, I found it easier to sit down on the lawn and use the hose without the wand/floor attachment. The floor wand is just harder to pull through tall, thick grass. It worked great on the areas where the grass was shorter and less dense, though.
- This is actually a pretty enjoyable activity if you have a great book or music to which you can listen while vacuuming. I use and can highly recommend THESE headphones that I’ve had for a couple of years now. They are super comfortable to wear, block out a lot of noise and connect to any bluetooth-compatible device. I always listen to Audible books that I’ve downloaded to my phone while vacuuming inside and they worked great for this job, too. It probably goes without saying, but read the instructions that come with any headphones you purchase. Don’t ever wear noise-cancelling headphones if you’re going to be working near a road or some place where it would be dangerous to block out outside noise. Definitely never wear them while driving.
In case you wondered, there are plenty of acorns left in the islands for the squirrels this winter. I’m also going to dump a bunch of the acorns I vacuumed up into the wooded area of my yard in case deer or some other type animal wants to eat them this fall/winter.
Up Next: 5 Tips for Waxing the Garden Hose
Spray & Forget Update
Over the years I’ve had a hard time keeping the steps on my front porch clean. They would always get moldy and green as seen in this older photo below.
This area on either side of the front door has always been a problem, too. About a year or so ago, I cleaned both areas with a solution of part bleach and part water, then sprayed both areas with a product I’d read about called, Spray & Forget. (I purchased it here: Spray & Forget)
It’s been about a year and the steps still look great. I haven’t had to clean them once! In the photo below, I had just watered the Green Mountain Boxwood planters and the Chrysanthemum, so that’s why the brick is darker in some spots. It’s just wet.
Here’s a photo that I took today, love how they are staying so clean! I forgot to take a picture of the wood molding on either side of the door, but it’s still nice and clean, too. I’m very pleased with the results and wanted to update you on how it had worked.
If you buy/use this product, be sure to read all the directions and keep pets, animals, etc… away from the area you spray while it’s wet. Animals aren’t supposed to walk on it while it’s wet. Again, read the directions before using it. I’m very pleased with how it has solved the moldy issue problem I was having on the steps each year, which was actually dangerous since it could be slippery.
Bulb Planting Time
A packaged appeared on my front porch a few days ago.
I was wondering what it could be until I read the return address.
When I visited Keukenhof Garden in South Holland this past spring, I placed an order for some of their tulip bulbs. I wanted to bring a bit of Holland back home with me.
They had an entire binder full of choices so it was agonizing trying to choose which bulbs/flowers to order. After much angst and deliberation, I chose this collection which includes: 20 Lily-Flowering Mix, 20 Double Mixed, 20 Darwin Hybrid Mixed and 20 Parrot Mixed. Now I just need to decide where I’m going to plant them.
In Georgia, either our summers are too hot or our winters are too mild (not sure which) but tulips never come back the second year. The foliage comes back, just no flowers.
So wherever I plant them, it needs to be in a place where I can easily dig them back up once the foliage turns yellow. They may end up in planters and/or an annual bed I have in front that’s been dug so many times, it should be pretty easy to retrieve them when the time comes.
Maybe when I dig them back up, I can stick them in the fridge and replant them again the following year. Need to read up on how that’s done. Anyone know?
Can’t wait to share these flowers with you next spring!
Looking forward to all the fabulous Before and Afters for this Met Monday!
Metamorphosis Monday is a party that’s all about Before and Afters. If you are participating in Met Monday, please link up using the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address.
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Only link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking or DIY related.
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