Picking nuts up off the ground | Living the Country Life
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Picking nuts up off the ground

It doesn’t take big machinery or expensive equipment to quickly gather them
Photo courtesy of University of Georgia

Whether you have one nut tree or dozens, they make a mess when the nuts fall to the ground. It’s important to get out there and pick them up as soon as you can before their quality starts to deteriorate, and before the squirrels steal them. But picking up one nut at a time is tedious, backbreaking work, especially when they’ve dropped over a wide area.

Ed Perry is a farm advisor emeritus with the University of California-Davis. He says one of the easiest ways to gather nuts is with a rake.

"We used the big bamboo rakes," says Perry. "Not the steel-tined garden rakes so much, although those would work. Rakes where we could just rake them into piles, and then come along with scoops and pick them up and take them back to our yard near the barn for drying."

Some people use a leaf blower and try to blow the nuts onto a tarp or into a pile. Perry says you’ll also pick up dirt, leaves, and other debris that could make an even bigger mess. And, nuts blown all over the place will probably end up more scattered than collected.

A long-handled tool with a rolling cage on the end will pick up nuts easily without you having to bend over, or you could hitch up a lawn sweeper to the back of your lawn tractor.

Maybe you don’t even want the nuts, but someone else would. Have the neighbor kids come over and pick them up. Perry says it’s a common practice in commercial nut orchards once the harvest is done.

"There are a great many folks who go out and glean orchards. Sometimes they’re school kids who just want some nuts to sell for extra money, but a lot of times they’re families, and most of them are out there with the hand rakes picking them up," says Perry.

If the nuts aren’t going to be consumed and you’d like to have some fun, perhaps you could use them to help perfect your golf game with the irons and chipping wedge.

Learn more:

Ideas from others with nut trees

The Nutwizard is a very popular tool for picking up nuts

A couple of other nut collecting tools

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