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Black walnuts - anything better than a plastic rake?
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Posted 10/11/2021 14:15 (#9263623)
Subject: Black walnuts - anything better than a plastic rake?

Middlesex County, Ontario
I have a 500' long gravel driveway lined on both sides by mature walnut trees. It takes me 35 minutes to rake the walnuts off the driveway and parking area into the lawn, and if I let it go more than a couple days it quickly balloons into a giant mess that takes even longer to clean up.

Is there any mechanical way to pick these dang things up or rake them off to the side?

Ideally I would like to mechanically pick them all up and dump them in the woods. Is there any way to do that? The pile beside my parking area is several skidsteer buckets and there's more than that raked into the lawn alongside the driveway. The walnuts alongside the driveway that I rake into the lawn are kind of hard on the lawnmower. I've seen the bag-a-nut walk behind pickers, but their working width is like 18" and I would be dumping that little hopper every 30'.

- I've tried a wheel rake, it moves maybe 25% of them. Maybe double-ing up the wheels on the wheel rake so that the teeth are closer together would work?
- I can't bring myself to try the brand new Krone single rotor rake.
- I've tried a snow blade on the lawn tractor but can't push walnuts without breaking them open and moving gravel.
- I've tried a backpack leaf blower but it doesn't really move walnuts unless blowing very close to them.
- I've tried blowing/chopping them off the driveway with the lawnmower but the deck doesn't really suck them up and they don't really fly out of the discharge spout like you would think.

Would a tow behind leaf vacuum work? One of those ~8hp walk behind leaf blowers? A power broom? A landscape rake? A bar rake? I'm not trying to break the bank, but losing those 35-45 minutes after supper when the days are getting shorter isn't very fun.
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