Is A Gravely Leaf Vacuum Good For Small And Large Lawns?

Sometimes, the size of your lawn determines the equipment you use on it. One example of this equipment is the Gravely Leaf Vacuum. So, is a Gravely Leaf Vacuum good for a small or large lawn?

A Gravely leaf vacuum stand alone unit is good for medium to small lawns. It is a walk behind machine specifically designed for leaf and debris cleanup. Gravely leaf vacuum attachments for their line of zero-turn mowers are best for larger lawns and fields.

Some people have always wondered the difference between a Gravely leaf vacuum and a bagger. Also, a bagger is not always necessary. This article explains the difference between a Gravely leaf vacuum and a bagger and advises you on when you need a bagger. 


What Is A Gravely Leaf Vacuum?

Over time, manufacturers and investors have come up with different equipment for clearing out a large dump of leaves. With each machine made to do it better than the other.

A Gravely Leaf Vacuum is a stand alone leaf collection system made in a walk behind design that is independent of a mower. It is used for tasks that would not require a larger mower with a leaf bagging system installed. It can save time and effort on small to medium sized leaf collection jobs.

Having some leaves on your lawn can be beneficial to the lawn grass. Some lawn experts claim that exposure to excess sun rays can cause the grass to die, so the leaves serve as a cover. Others differ on this point, but all agree that it is good for small amounts of leaves to decay and become compost for the healthy growth of the lawn grass. 

However, if the leaves take up about a third of your lawn, then you should clear them. Sometimes, mulching is preferred to remove leaves, and you should only do this when the leaves are dry. 

A Gravely leaf vacuum is one of the many pieces of equipment that can be essential for clearing and bagging leaves. The Gravely machine has a vacuum pump fixed behind it, and the vacuum pump is connected to a bin. This is where the leaves go once they are sucked up. 

Often, the bin does not require much time to either install or uninstall. The engine produces energy that propels the vacuum pump behind the leaf vacuum. The pump sucks up the leaves and dumps them into the bin.

Several bins can be attached to the back of the Gravely leaf catcher. The number ranges from 2 to 5 bins per machine. 

The Gravely leaf vacuum is a walk-behind or wheel-driven machine. It is excellent for clearing leaves from the lawn. The size of your lawn should help you decide whether to use a leaf vacuum or a larger machine. 

But the Gravely leaf vacuum will do an excellent job on a relatively large lawn.  It can also force out leaves from tight lawn corners, whether wet or dry. 

If bumps or holes are on your lawn, they might reduce the efficiency of your machine.

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Is A Gravely Leaf Vacuum The Same As Bagger?

The Gravely bagger systems and the leaf vacuum are very similar in design though different in application. Some use the names interchangeably, but they really are different solutions. They share the same components, with a vacuum hose and a bin/bagger behind. Yet, the bagger system relies on a fully operational mower for its power.

A dedicated leaf vacuum in a walk behind design is not the same as a leaf vacuum attachment that can be applied to a Gravely zero-turn mower or other machine. A stand alone leaf vacuum system is made similar to a push mower whereas a bagging attachment is an accessory for a riding mower.

Since they can clear a large lawn, home and business owners can use either of these pieces of equipment to cut down on the time and hassle of leaf cleanup. They just both do it in a slightly different way. You get to pick any of the variety that is convenient for you.

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Gravely Leaf Vacuum Attachment (Bagger)

So, what is the difference between a walk behind leaf vacuum and a leaf vacuum system attached to a mower? The similarities in what they do end in ‘how’ they are used.

A Gravely leaf vacuum attachment is a bagging system that runs off of the power that the mower it is hooked to produces. This is in contrast with the a walk behind leaf vacuum that produces its own power. The choice of which to use depends on the tools already owned and the size of the job.

The Gravely Zero Turn Bagger has large-sized bags. The larger the bags, the longer it takes to get packed, and this saves you some time before the next dump.

The Gravely bagger can hold as much as 22 bushels of leaves and a minimum of 7 bushels. This is because it often has more than just one catcher attached to it. Some have as many as five catchers, while some have just 2. 

Pull the lever situated next to the driver’s seat to turn over the bagger. It would only take a few seconds, and it is pretty easy to handle. 

Some Gravely leaf vacuum have their leaf catchers mounted in front and pushed from behind. The leaf catchers (2 or more) can be as large as 30 liters. This is often a good option for commercial purposes. 

Line the inside of the leaf catcher with a garbage bag to prevent it from getting dirty and make bagging easy.  

The Gravely Zero Turn Leaf Vacuum has a 7 inches wide tube. This allows for the free passage of leaves from the mower deck without getting stuck.

Gravely Leaf Attachment Pricing

Furthermore, manufacturers of leaf vacuums also produce original accessories for their equipment. The price of each addition or the machine as a whole depends on its functions and features. They are usually affordable, with prices ranging from as low as $57 for the bag itself to as high as $2,000 for a top of the line attachment system.

When Should You Bag Your Leaves?

Mulching is great, but it is not always the solution. There are many reasons for bagging leaves instead of mulching. Below are a few:

  • When leaves decay, they form compost. Bag your leaves if you need them as compost. 
  • Mulching can only work for dry leaves. Bag wet leaves
  • If you belong to an association that prefers bagging over mulching.
  • Mulching a large pile of leaves might take forever. Simply bag the leaves to shorten the process.
  • Leaving too many mulched leaves on a lawn can be detrimental.

How To Clear Leaves With Only A Mower

Driving a mower across your lawn is so stress-free and effortless, is it just as easy to simply mow over your leaves rather than attaching accessories or buying brand new equipment? Is there a way to just use what you have? It can be done with a mower if the amount of leaves is not too much to be mulched and spread.

Mulching leaves with just a mower:

  1. Mow the area from the edges in a circular pattern.
  2. Once the leaves are semi-mulched in the center run over the area backwards to finely mulch the leaves.
  3. Use a blower to further spread the leaves in the lawn to ensure an even distribution.

Another option that can take the place of a blower if you don’t have one is to strategically place the mulched leaves. On some jobs we would mow in a large circle along the edges with larger trees in the middle. These would then be were we would port the leaves to after mulched. This can be done only with a mower.

This provides mulch for these trees instead of using bark mulch and keeps down weeds around their base. When trees are mulched at their base in the middle of a lawn it prevents the need to bring weed-eaters close to the roots and bark. Damage to the tree is stopped before it starts.

If mulching is not an option, there are simple bagging solutions that catch rather than vacuum the leaves. These bagging accessories are very inexpensive and can be found for most every brand or model of mower. We have even used bagging options for push mowers specifically designed for grass and they worked fine.

You only need to do more than just driving or pushing when you need to empty the catcher.

Mount a compatible bagger in front or behind the mower. Once this is done, drive the mower across your lawn to suck up the leaves. Empty the bagger when it is full and repeat the process till you pick up all the leaves. 

How To Pick Up Leaves With A Walk-behind Mower

It is pretty easy to use the walk-behind mower to pick up leaves. This can be done with a grass catcher or a specifically designed leaf bag attachment.

Detach the rear discharge plug or plate and attach a grass or leaf bag attachment. It really is simple to do if the proper attachment is applied to the corresponding mower. Problems arise when trying to fit together bags and mowers that were not designed for one another. I have spent way too much time trying to get mismatched parts to work.

When these mismatched bags fall off or come unattached, constant bending over or walking some distance to pick up leaves and the bag isn’t fun. Let’s not forget the amount of time it would take to empty the bag several times because it is the wrong size or falls off due to weight.

The point here is, get the bag attachment that fits your brand and model of mower. It will save you a headache. 

There are the flaws using a walk-behind mower. However, using a rake instead should hardly ever be an option. 

On the other hand, using dedicated walk-behind leaf vacuum equipment is not a terrible alternative. They have larger bags when compared to a lawnmower. A walk-behind leaf vacuum is great for clearing lawns covered in several types of debris. 

The Gravely leaf vacuum and Billy Goat leaf vacuum pick up leaves and other debris. 

They were specially made for this purpose. For this reason, you don’t need to worry about damaging your mower. Since a walk-behind leaf vacuum is closer to the ground than others, and it is capable of forcing trapped leaves out of their hidden places.

Though they may not pick up every acorn, it is one of the few ways to get the majority of them out of their hiding places in your yard.

Manufacturers such as Honda, Gravely, John Deere, and many others design great models of mowers, tractors, and leaf vacuums.

The Final Touches On Gravely Leaf Vacuums…

Hopefully now you know the difference between a bagger and a walk behind leaf vacuum. There are other solutions as well that utilize blower technology or even weed trimmers. These are subjects for another article.

Here it is important to note that if your lawn is large or you already have a well functioning Gravely zero-turn, a bagging attachment may be the way to go. Yet, if your lawn is medium to small in size a dedicated walk behind leaf vacuum could be just what you are looking for.

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Mathew Booe

Mathew has worked in landscaping professionally for over 10 years. He is a grandpa and frequently interviews other experienced landscapers and lawn care experts who are also grandpas for these articles.

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