Maintaining the perfect lawn is no easy task. In fact, most homeowners are surprised at the upkeep required in order to have a lush lawn year after year. However, like with any home maintenance, having the right tools makes the job much easier. Here are the must have tools when it comes maintaining a healthy lawn that thrives.
Picture a rake in your mind. This tool seems pretty simple and universal, but there are actually several different kinds of rakes that serve different purposes. A shrub rake is used to spread mulch into tight spaces and has a long narrow end with bent tines. This means shrub rakes can be used to clear debris very close to base of plants without raking or disturbing large areas. On the other end of the spectrum is the bow rake, which is often used in the garden to redistribute soil. Bow rakes have short, wide heads with spiky tines on the end and handles similar to a push broom.
When it comes to choosing the right rake for lawn care, the leaf rake is a must. Leaf rakes have triangular heads with curved tines. Not only will you use it to clean up in the fall, but a leaf rake is also a handy tool for raking up grass following your weekly spring mow.
There's also more than meets the eye with the simple shovel, but to be perfectly honest a shovel of any kind is unlikely to see much use in your standard lawn care routine. Unless you are replanting grass or prepping a lawn for the first time, your shovel will get more use in the garden or flower beds. While it's nice to have one around when it comes to filling gopher holes that may mar your grass, a spade is the tool that really comes in handy when it’s time to cut sod or edge your lawn.
Speaking of edging, an edger is a major help when it comes to beautifying the lawn. Grass has a mind of its own and it doesn’t matter how many times you try to train it, it will always reach into the space next door, whether that is a flower bed or rock path. An edger creates an appealing boundary line for your lawn and cuts through the roots to discourage their rambling ways.
For small spaces, an edger that looks similar to the flat edge of a spade is an adequate tool for the job. It has a handle as well as a spot to put your feet as you apply pressure to drive it into the ground. For another manual option, you can get a rotary edger which is basically a wheel with a second wheel of claws next to it. As you push the rotary edger, the claws dig up the soil. For a power tool option you can get a fully electric edger that does the job while you walk behind it.
Even if it seems excessive, a good gardening habit to start is to edge your lawn each time you mow. More frequent edging means the task will ultimately be easier as your blade can pass deeper and more smoothly without needing to make multiple passes with your tool.
Leaf blowers can be gas or electric and make the job of leaf removal a whole lot easier. If you have large trees that create a blanket of leaves on your lawn, a leaf blower will help you maintain lawn health without hours of raking.
The roots of your lawn needs air, water, and nutrients to grow healthy and strong. An aerator digs into the soil and pulls out plugs, which decreases the compaction of the soil. The holes left in place of the plugs allow water, air, and nutrients to get down to the roots. There are manual and electric models of aerators. In fact, you could just use a pitchfork for the same affect. However, that is time consuming and physically exhausting so if you have a large lawn, consider renting an aerator every year or two. Maybe share the cost with a neighbor and aerate both lawns at the same time.
Anyone who has maintained a lawn is familiar with lawn mowers. The only thing you need to decide is whether to get an electric model or a gas model. Of course, you could get an entirely manual model for a small lawn or a riding lawn mower for a very large lawn. Regardless, you will want to maintain your mower annually and throughout the season to ensure proper function for your lawn.
A seed spreader helps you evenly disperse seeds and pellets to your lawn. There are many different varieties that could meet your needs. For the occasional overseeding, a handheld unit might do the job. However, if you have a larger space, a push seed spread er is much more convenient as well as accurate in its distribution of the seeds.
Dethatching the lawn is another way to allow your lawn to breathe. There are specialty tools made for this purpose, but any tool that scrapes away the dead, compacted grass will work. There is a dethatcher that looks like a rake made for this task. Then there is a rotary style and also power models that would suit the needs of a larger lawn.
Another convenient tool to have around to help maintain your lawn is a weed eater, or trimmer. These machines offer a fast rotating string that cuts through grass and weeds. Available in gas or electric models, a trimmer helps reign in unruly lawns.
When it comes to lawn maintenance having the right tools is a major part of your success. If you are just starting out, focus on the basic models and upgrade as your budget allow.