Like most garden power tools, garden vacuums and blowers come in two flavours – petrol powered and electric.
Garden vacs (blower vacs) are used for the collection of leaves, sawdust and grass cuttings; most models can also cope with smaller twigs. They are fitted with a collection bag for the debris and often have a shredding system for breaking down leafy material. Garden vacs are also very handy for clearing up litter and many models can be quickly converted for use as a blower.
Clearing a heavy Autumn fall of leaves from your lawn is important to prevent the grass becoming smothered. If you mow regularly, it is possible to simply use the mower to collect the leaves.
Electric garden vacs come in a variety of power ratings up to around 2500W. Decent models are available for well under a hundred pounds from brands such as Alko and Mowerland.
Another manufacturer with a good electric and petrol powered range at reasonable prices is Ryobi.
If it’s just a garden blower you need without the vacuum facility, take a look at these models from Echo.
Petrol garden vacs and blowers provide total freedom (no power cord) and one of the best ranges is made by Stihl.
If it’s mainly leaves that you need to clear up, a manual push leaf sweeper may be ideal – no electric cable and no fumes.
For the really large garden, the range of petrol powered wheeled leaf vacuums and sweepers will save you hours of work. These are available in push and self propelled versions for use on a variety of surfaces. Many models are designed for dealing with both garden debris and litter. The Billy Goat range are particularly effective. Electric wheeled leaf vacuums are also available.
Garden vacs are useful tools in the production of mulch and compost for your garden. If you have a large amount of leaves to clear each autumn, a shredding vacuum will assist in the preparation of compost. Leaves will decompose better if they are shredded before going into the compost bin. Shredded leaves can also be used as mulch spread over the surfaces of beds and borders.