Sweeping garden paths and paved areas keeps them clear and safe. Sweep regularly, especially at leaf-fall, or when you’ve been weeding or doing other work.
Top tips to make sweeping easier
If you use one hand, a standard broom will probably be difficult to use; a small, lightweight ‘witches’ broom might be easier or consider a light indoor style broom.
- To improve the grip on a broom handle, you could use pipe insulation pushed over the handle.
- Replace your broom regularly to keep good strong bristles or buy a broom with plastic or nylon bristles which are almost impossible to wear out.
- Gather up weeds as you go, or spread a plastic sheet down when weeding or hedge cutting to reduce the debris that you need to sweep.
Sweeping can strain the arms, back and hands. Always 'warm up' with a few gentle stretches and only work for short periods.
Equipment and tools
Have a look at the list of equipment and tools at the end of this page, after the information on raking.
Raking breaks up and levels the soil, helps to remove stones, and prepares the soil surface for planting and seed sowing. A garden rake with short, strong prongs is used for this job.
You also need to rake the lawn using a spring-tined lawn rake to clear ‘thatch’ – the build-up of dead grass and moss, etc, that can stifle the lawn. This would be difficult one handed, as it requires a lot of strength. Leaf rakes, also with springy tines, are used to gather grass cuttings and leaves from the lawn.
Top tips to make raking easier
Choose a rake of the right length and weight for you to use comfortably without bending. A fist grip and arm support can be fitted to a rake to help you to lift it.
- If you need a shorter rake, the multi-change ranges offer various handle lengths that can be used with a rake head attachment.
- You can avoid having to rake your lawn by using a mower with a grass box. This will reduce the cuttings that collect on the lawn and reduce the need to rake the lawn to remove moss and thatch.
- When raking soil, lift the rake towards the end of each sweep, this action will help break up the soil.
Lifting, dropping and dragging the rake can jolt the arms and strain the back. It can take good grip and strength to draw the rake towards you. Only use a lighter rake and work in very short bursts, to reduce hand strain.
Always warm up with a few gentle stretches, only work for short periods and take lots of breaks.
Equipment and tools