Landscaping Tools

Shaping your yard and garden

You've painted, papered and accessorized, and now every room in your home looks like it's straight out of a magazine. But what about your yard?

If you want the outer appearance of your home to match its inner beauty, you'll need to invest in some lawn garden tools. Whether you have a yard that's overgrown or no lawn at all, the right tools are the first step to lush, manicured greenery.

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Building Your Lawn

If your lot has no grass or if the yard has dead patches, you need to get the grass growing. Start by removing any rocks, debris and other impediments. A wheelbarrow will help you move large or heavy objects without undue back and muscle strain, and it will also come in handy for removing excess dirt or transferring soil to the areas that will become garden beds.

Once the yard is prepared, a lawn seeder allows you to spread grass seed quickly. If your lawn is small, a hand-held or bag seeder is probably all you'll need, but for larger spaces, a wheeled seeder is ideal.

Fertilizing is the final step to growing a luscious lawn. Like a seeder, a lawn spreader makes it easy to distribute fertilizer quickly and evenly – and without getting your hands dirty! You'll want a broadcast spreader to cover the most area with the fewest passes. Take into account both the size of your lawn and the amount of fertilizer you want to spread when making your selection.

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Shovel

Shovels are an important piece of landscaping equipment. In cold climates in particular, snow shovels are required to keep driveways and walkways accessible and safe in the winter.

When purchasing a shovel, make sure the shovel head is sturdy and secured tightly to the shovel handle. Also make sure the handle is comfortable and provides you enough leverage to properly lift the load. It is especially important that your snow shovel be well built so that you don't put undue strain on your muscles while pushing and lifting heavy snow on icy terrain.

For a particularly large landscaping project, such as excavating a pool, you might consider renting a small power shovel. These motorized digging machines are quick and efficient. They may require special licensing to operate, however, so be sure to investigate the requirements for safe, legal operation.

On the other hand, if you're tight on space in your garage or shed, you might consider a folding shovel. Available in a variety of sizes, these compact tools are great for small, quick jobs and are far more portable than a regular shovel.

Rake

Rakes are invaluable landscaping tools. A leaf rake is a necessity for cleaning up leaves in the fall, while a lawn rake tidies your yard after mowing. Lawn rakes tend to have slightly smaller heads and closer-together tines than leaf rakes, though you can use a lawn rake to rake leaves or a leaf rake to rake grass.

If it's dirt, soil or rocks you're raking, a landscape rake is the ideal tool. Landscape rakes generally attach to a lawn or garden tractor and are often used to grade or level an area in preparation for seeding.

A power rake is a motorized machine similar to a lawn mower that is used to remove thatch and other organic debris from a lawn. Power raking is often done in early spring or late fall and may be combined with overseeding in order to stimulate lawn growth.

Planting Trees, Shrubs and Hedges

While a healthy green lawn is certainly a must for showcasing your home, you might also want to add interest with a well-placed tree or shrub or create privacy with a border of hedges.

An auger makes planting precise and easy. Augers are like hand-operated drills; they create planting holes far more neatly and with much less effort than a shovel or trowel.

Once your tree, shrub or hedge has been planted, keep it looking neat with a weeder and pruner. A weeder removes unwanted plants from your lawn or plant bed, while pruning shears trim overgrown leaves and branches. Pruners come in various styles and sizes, so you'll want to know how light or heavy your pruning will needs will be in order to get the style and size that works best for you. Also make sure the handle is comfortable and the weight is manageable.

Remember, your lawn is a growing, changing thing, so it will require regular care to remain lush and green.