A serious 220V leaf vacuum for loose bamboo leaves on a gravel garden? £100 or so?

VACUUM, not blower.  I had a Bosch blower/vacuum and the vacuum leaf collection performance was pathetic.  A blower is not much use in the gravel garden because the only place to blow leaves to is onto the flower borders along the surrounding trellis.

I have read some reviews of blower/vacuums and they show the blower piling up the leaves and then the vacuum sucking up the heap of leaves, this is of no use to me.

My rotary lawn mower picks leaves up off the LAWN very well, while mowing the grass, being a vacuum cyclone in itself, but of course I cannot easily roll this across GRAVEL.

If I had a decent lightweight vacuum/cyclone device I could roll it or hand-swing it over the gravel frequently so that the bamboo leaves are still dry and loose, not damp and matted down.

Any suggestions, please?


  • Mike160304Mike160304 Posts: 66
    PS - Any devices that roll on little wheels might be difficult on gravel, but maybe some wheels are removable when hand-carrying is more appropriate?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,638
    Historically Japanese gardeners have used a rake to keep gravel gardens free from fallen leaves ... and it has of course developed into an art form



    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,409
    edited 1 August
    Try an industrial vacuum cleaner. Like a small dustbin on wheels, with carry handle and a large gauge flexible hose. Or get all zen as Dove suggested 😌 
  • Mike160304Mike160304 Posts: 66
    Nollie - I have a Wickes garage/workshop vacuum, with a hose with around 30mm internal diameter.  An industrial one with much wider hose would be a far bigger object than I would want in the workshop, and there is no spare space in the shed.
    But thanks for the suggestion.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,409
    Have you tried your Wickes one on the bamboo, Mike? I suspect the problem with the duel suck/blows is the motor power, but would be interested to hear if you found a good one. I know the industrial hoovers work because my builder left one here overnight and I used it to clear my drive of tonnes of oak leaves. I emptied it, put it back in it’s original place and he was non the wiser  :)
  • Mike160304Mike160304 Posts: 66
    Nollie, thanks, I'll try the Wickes vacuum as soon as I can.  Right now the on/off switch has failed and I am looking for a new one and as it's not an expensive machine, and 14 years old,  I don't know yet whether repairing it will be is cost-effective.
  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,882
    Bamboo leaves are very good at getting trapped in gravel, I wonder if a vacuum powerful enough to suck them up would also suck up the gravel. Is it not feasible to blow them onto the lawn and then run the mower over them?
  • Mike160304Mike160304 Posts: 66
    WillDB - thanks, good thinking, but the gravel garden is enclosed by a trellis fence with only small "gateways".  And flower beds along the trellis fence inside.

    A little light skimming with a grass rake and/or stiff-bristle broom tends to loosen the bamboo leaves, but at the moment I get down on my knees and pick the leaves up with bare fingers - even gloves get in the way.  A "mini-grass-rake" for using while kneeling might help.
  • Mike160304Mike160304 Posts: 66
    PS - I note that some of the alleged "leaf vacuums" have some rake prongs on them for loosening leaves.
  • Reluctant_GardenerReluctant_Gardener Posts: 276
    edited 12 August
    A 'shop vac would do, wet and dry gives for wider usage. For outide and for workshop use I'd get a 110V one (that's centred to earth (CTE) so maximum touch voltage in case of fault is 55v) and a transformer with a couple of outlets, then it's good for proper power tools too.

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