Gardening

Pick Un Nuts and Fruits Without Bending Over!

20170914BI’m always looking for easier ways to garden and here’s one: a garden tool that will pick up fallen nuts and fruits rapidly, easily and, even better, without you having to bend over!

I’ve seen it sold under several names (nut and fruit gatherer, nut gatherer, nut broom, Nut Wizard, etc.) and it is certainly easy enough to use. Simply use the handle to roll the oval gathering basket back and forth over the ground, pressing lightly as you go. The basket’s flexible wires pull open when it hits any fruits or nuts in the sector and in they pop. As it rolls, it picks up more and more objects, even in fairly tall grass. In fact, I found it even able to pry loose and pick up fruits and nuts half sunk into the ground.

When it’s full, simply hold it over a pail or other recipient and spread the wires apart to release the basket’s contents.

We use it to pick up the thousands of crabapples that fall from our very prolific crabapple tree each fall. When they fall in flower beds, I just leave them be and let them decompose on the spot. On the other hand, when crabapples litter the path or lawn, it becomes very slippery and possibly dangerous. We used to spend a lot of time raking crabapples into piles and getting down on our knees to pick them up. Now, we just run the nut gatherer and it’s all done in an instant.

20170914A.jpg
Marie loves this tool and now picks the fallen crabapples herself. There’s nothing I like better, as a laidback gardener, than a task my wife is willing to take over. Now if only I could get her to clean out the eaves!

My wife calls this tool “the eighth wonder of the world”, so easy is it to use! And my stepdaughter makes delicious jellies with the crabapples we harvest!

Details

The model we purchased is, according to the instructions, designed to pick up objects from 3/8 inch to 2 inches (1 to 5 cm) in diameter. That would include crabapples, walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, pecans, ginkgo fruits, acorns, sweet gum fruit, olives… and golf balls. Actually, it will pick up much larger objects than it claims to: I tried it on larger objects and had no trouble picking up full-size apples, pears, pine cones and tennis balls. So, it’s good for objects at least 3.5 inches (9 cm)—the size of the oranges I tested it on—in diameter. However, with larger fruits, the basket does fill up more quickly. Not to worry, though: there are models with bigger baskets specially designed to pick up larger objects.

Note that the rolling basket will not pick up soft fruit like tomatoes and plums without damaging them, nor is it very good with seriously rotten apples: it tends to mush them up and break them into pieces, although it does admittedly pick them up. To gather soft fruits, you will still probably have to get down on your knees.

You ought to be able to find a nut and fruit gatherer in larger garden centers or in big box stores. If not, you can order one at Lee Valley Tools (Canada and USA), Nut Wizard (USA) and Garden Weasel (USA). In Europe, look for it on Amazon and on eBay. Lee Valley delivered ours in only two days!20170914B

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

2 comments on “Pick Un Nuts and Fruits Without Bending Over!

  1. Pingback: Growing Trees From Nuts and Acorns – Laidback Gardener

  2. Pingback: How to Prevent a Walnut Tree From Bearing Nuts? – Laidback Gardener

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!

%d bloggers like this: