Lawn Care Tools: 101
For the avid gardener who loves to work with the ground, lawn care is much a passion than a chore. Any well-seasoned “green thumb” will tell you that the right tools are critical for effective and satisfying work.
But what if you’re just starting out? Or perhaps it isn’t you who’s gained a sudden interest, but rather a relative or hosuemate whom you’re trying to help out with the proper lawn maintenance tools?
Sure, everyone knows the importance of owning a rake and a lawnmower. I’ll wager there’s also a garden hose and shovel of sorts sitting in the corner of your garage. But what else do you need, and why?
When you’re new to gardening and lawn care, stepping into your local Lowe’s or Home Depot can feel daunting if you don’t know what to focus on. Do I get all the things? That’s not feasible! Do I wait until an issue arises, and then sort out exactly what’s needed? That will leave you in a lurch!
Remember those school supply lists provided every summer for children in grade school? Think of this guide as that- but for your lawn care equipment!
Let’s take a look at the bare minimum must-haves for anyone who simply wants to take care of their yard.
This one is a given, but what kind should you have? If you plan on composting or targeted mulching, you’ll need a bag. That way you can put the trimmings exactly where you want them. Lawnmowers with a bag are also handy for combating extensive weed problems, as bagging the clippings will reduce the spread of seeds.
However, for most lawns, a bagless mower is perfectly sufficient. In fact, leaving the clippings behind- even if they include dried leaves in the fall- is actually quite nutritious for your topsoil and grass.
Again, this is a staple accessory most homeowners already possess. If you only use it on leaves and small debris, a more flexible one is optimal. However, for more laborious tasks like weeding and removing rocks, you’ll want a sturdier rake that can take more force and pressure.
Hose and Sprayer
Even if you’re leaving the fertilizing and irrigation up to the professionals, a garden hose with a simple sprayer attachment is still a must-have. Spraying off the deck, spot-watering a dry patch, or hosing down your patio furniture are simple chores you want to be able to handle on your own. Be sure you store them in the winter to avoid cracking, freezing, and rust.
Yep, even if you don’t plan on cultivated a lush garden, there will be times when you need to get your hands dirty. For instance, let’s say the autumn rain has left you with a soggy pile of leaves. Scooping them into the trash bin before they develop mold and algae is important- and certainly not something you want to do bare-handed!
Again, you may be planning to let the professionals at TLC Landscapes take care of weed prevention in your yard. (Click here for a free service quote!) You still want a small metal shovel on-hand to dig up that stubborn patch of dandelions that simply won’t die. Or maybe you’re putting in a new play structure for the kids that needs to be staked into the ground a few inches.
This is the tool used for edging off those perimeters, curves, and narrow spots in your landscape, that the lawnmower can’t quite catch. There are several types that offer a variety of features, but a basic one will do for those whose lawn care routine is fairly simple.
The Big Stuff
How about those tools you’ll need for more involved gardening and lawn maintenance?
These, of course, are those big sturdy scissors that allow you to prune your shrubs. Sharp and heavy, you’ll want to make sure you practice basic safety with these guys, especially if you’re having the kids help out.
Even if you’re not going after large branches or chopping kindling, a chainsaw is a wonderful tool for more detailed, difficult, or hard-to-reach pruning. They come in several weights, shapes, and sizes, depending on what projects you plan to use them on. You can also find chainsaws that are wired, battery powered, or gas powered.
Wheelbarrow, Large Shovel
Again, these are things you’ll only need for heavy-duty gardening. If you’ve chosen to dedicate a portion of your yard for a garden, you’ll want an easy way to dig up and haul off the old topsoil. Additionally, these tools are great for composting, laying mulch, and spreading fresh soil.
This is what the pros use to spread fertilizer, herbicide, and fresh grass seed. If you’re one of those who plans to take on these tasks yourself, a drop spreader makes the job far quicker and easier to complete. This is a somewhat large tool, wheelbarrows, so plan to make room for safe storage in your shed or garage.
For homes with mature trees and a dense canopy, this is almost a necessity once fall and winter set in. Whatever your rake can do, the leaf blower can do much faster! Just like with chainsaws, they can be found in both corded and cordless models. Bag up those leaves, respread them more easily, and mow them down for some natural mulch!
Regardless of how involved you plan to get with your landscaping maintenance, it is important to know what you need and why. If you found this guide helpful, BackyardAdvice.com has much more fantastic advice to offer.