The right tools for your task
Maintaining a healthy yard and garden takes effort, but the right tools can make your job much easier. Remember, bigger isn't necessarily better! An extra-large mower may have your yard trimmed in a matter of minutes, but do you have the storage space and the budget for equipment of that size? The details are important too. No matter how powerful your lawnmower, you'll still need a trimmer to get close to fence edges and under shrubs.
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To maintain a healthy lawn and garden, you'll need the following pieces of equipment:
- Lawn mower - Whether you choose a riding, gas, electric or reel mower, you'll need some kind of equipment to keep the grass short. Look for models with adjustable blades so you can cut the grass the best height for your climate.
- Lawn trimmers- Usually constructed of a piece of wire or nylon cord attached to a motor that spins at extremely high speeds, a lawn trimmer lets you cut blades of grass in hard to reach places like along fence lines, between patio stones, under shrubs and along the perimeter of your house.
- Gardening tools- A handheld spade, rake and hoe will help you make the right-sized holes for planting flowers and bulbs. Full-sized equipment can get in the way if you're trying to space plants close together.
- Landscape borders- Create a clean line between lawn and flowerbeds with landscape borders. The borders help keep soil in place and grass and weeds out.
If you want your lawn to look golf-course-professional, you'll need to invest in additional equipment. Some of the tools the professionals use include:
- Leaf blowers and vacuums- If you've got a large yard, it can take hours to rake up grass clippings and fallen leaves. Leaf blowers and vacuums use strong blasts of air to scoot or suck debris off your lawn and into a manageable pile. They're also gentler on your grass than a rake.
- Lawn aerators- Help your grass get the irrigation and aeration it needs with a lawn aerator. Lawn aerators make small holes in your lawn to allow nutrients and oxygen to reach deeper into the root system.
- Lawn rollers- If you like to play bocce or croquet, a lawn roller is a must. The heavily weighted cylinder helps flatten away any bumps or ridges, leaving you with a smooth, flat lawn. Lawn rollers are great for re-sodded or newly sodded grass.
- Lawn sweepers- Like blowers and vacuums, lawn sweepers help pick up debris in your yard. Lawn sweepers use a brush system to move debris from your lawn into an attached basket. You'll find designs that can be pulled behind a riding lawn mower, as well as push models.
Keep your yard and garden in pristine condition with routine maintenance. In droughts, keep your grass a bit longer than usual. This will help it develop a deeper root structure where the plant can reach more moisture and prevent the roots from burning.