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.
In this section, there is general information on how you can make sweeping and raking easier, and details of some tools that you might find helpful.
There is additional information on sweeping and raking: sitting down and from a wheelchair
; with sight loss
; with a weak grip
; with one hand
; if you can't bend easily
Top tips to make sweeping easier
A small, lightweight ‘witches’ broom might be easier for you to use 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
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 can be hard work as it requires alot 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 too much. 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
- Try using a shorter-length garden rake on a fixed handle, that you can use sitting down.
If you need a shorter rake, there are various handle options in the multi-change ranges that can be used with a rake head attachment.
- The lightest rakes have plastic heads and aluminium handles. However, you may find it easier to use a rake with a heavier head as the weight helps to push it into the soil.
The grabber rake collects up leaves and debris and the scooping action picks it up for transfer to a barrow or collection sheet.
In this section, there is general information on equipment and tools for sweeping and raking, and a few examples that you might find helpful.
You can see the full range of tools, and search for equipment and tools which are easier for people with a specific disability to use, in Equipment and tools to help you