How to Harvest Walnuts and Other Nuts
How to Remove Nuts From Your Lawn the Easy Way
Once autumn arrives, your trees will start dropping more than their leaves.
Black walnuts, acorns, pecans, sweet gum balls, and other nuts will be falling too, but you don't have to collect them by hand. Although leaf blowers are good for collecting leaves, nut gatherers, popularly referred to as nut picker uppers, are the better option for harvesting nuts.
How a Nut Picker Upper Works
Nut gatherers have long prongs attached to a roller that you roll over your lawn. Almost like fingers, the prongs snatch nuts from the grass and deposit them into a hopper. Their shape makes them even better suited for grabbing smooth-shelled nuts like pecans than lawn sweepers.
For those unable to spend hours bending down to pluck nuts from their lawns, a nut collector can make fall cleanup enjoyable due to its ease of use.
How to Harvest NutsFollow these steps to harvest walnuts, pecans, and other types of nuts quickly and easily.
1. Select the Right-Sized Nut Picker Upper
For the best results, it's important to pick the appropriate tool, whether you need a walnut, pecan, or acorn picker upper.
To start, you have a choice to make between the two styles of nut gathering tools available:
- Push nut gatherers
- Tow-behind nut gatherers
As the name suggests, a push walnut picker upper requires you to push it across your lawn like a stroller or grocery cart. Push harvesters are ideal for smaller yards.
If you have a larger yard that you maintain with a riding lawn mower or a property that you travel across with an ATV, you might prefer using a tow-behind nut gatherer instead. Attaching one to your tractor or vehicle can save you time and energy.
While tow-behind nut collectors all tend to be fairly wide, push models are available with rollers of different widths. Consider your budget, the size of your property, and the amount of time you want to spend picking up nuts. Smaller nut gatherers won't cover as much ground, but they will save you some money.
Finally, the most important part is to pick the right nut gatherer for the types of nuts on your lawn. You'll find specific designs intended for the most common kinds of nuts:
- Sweet gum balls
- Black walnuts
- Pecans and large acorns
- Small acorns or walnuts
Because nuts come in different shapes and sizes, it's important to have a nut collector that will accommodate those differences. Each model specifies the type of nut it's designed for, so finding the one for you is easy.
2. Shake the Trees
Put on a hard hat and safety glasses, and go shake free any remaining loose nuts to avoid having to go out and gather them again in a day or two.
You can shake the lower hanging branches by hand, and use a broom handle or other long object to reach the higher branches.
3. Collect the Nuts
Finally, the fun part: getting those nuts off your grass!
If you're using a push nut picker upper, watch out for large obstacles in the grass. Although push gatherers are great for maneuvering around a tree, shrub, or other obstacles, small, hidden obstacles (even nuts!) can put you at risk of tripping.
If you're using a tow-behind nut gatherer, give yourself some clearance when turning around obstacles like trees. Make sure to leave room to avoid scraping the gatherer against the obstacle.
With either type of nut collector, pet owners should pay special attention and remove animal waste from the yard before using a nut gatherer. Trust us.
4. Empty the Hopper
Once you've fished collecting the nuts off your lawn, head back to home base and empty your load directly into your disposal bag.
Some nut gatherers come with pull cords that allow you to tip the collection basket without bending over or removing the basket.
If you wish to keep your nuts, separate them out from the rest of the debris and set them aside for later. Then dispose of the remaining debris in a waste bin or add it to your compost pile.
Gather Em' Up
Whether you're planning on making pecan pie, candied walnuts, or are just tossing them (we hope you don't), a nut picker upper makes harvesting simple.