Essential Equipment for Lawn Maintenance

Whatever job you’re going to do, it pays to have the right tool to do it – and lawn maintenance is certainly no exception to that rule! The pursuit of the perfect lawn may well be seen as a labour of love, but it’s also inclined to be pretty hard work along the way – so making sure you have all the equipment you need will make reaching your goal a lot easier in the long run.

The Lawn Mower

With recent research having shown that the age-old belief about good mowing being a vital part of producing a quality lawn is true, the lawn mower is the single most important piece of equipment for lawn maintenance. Choosing the right one is important – and it’s not all about how much grass you have to cut, despite much of the advice to be found in many of the old gardening books. Today there’s a great choice between electric, petrol, battery and hand-pushed models, so the choice is more about personal preference and the type of lawn you have than simply how big it is.

For rough, utility grassland, hover mowers are hard to beat, but if you’re after a perfect finish for a flat and level lawn, there’s nothing like a cylinder mower, while rotary mowers sit comfortably between the two. Although hand-powered mowers are no longer the only choice for the small garden, they retain their own die-hard fans. If you have no more than 60 or 70 square metres of lawn to cut and you’re either looking for a productive way to exercise, or simply want to go green and avoid using energy, then a manual mower may be just right for you.

The important thing is to understand the nature of your own particular lawn and be very clear about what you’re trying to achieve – and select your mower accordingly. One thing’s for sure, despite all the TV advertisements, there really isn’t any one type or model of lawn mower that suits every kind of lawn – so you need to do your own research to make sure the one you buy will really meet your needs.

Hand Tools

The simple garden fork is one of the most important tools that any gardener will ever buy – and for the lawn it’s an essential; nothing else can aerate a lawn so deeply and thoroughly and where compaction is a threat, this alone can make the difference between success and failure.

A small hand-fork or trowel is another essential in the lawn-keeper’s armoury, being an important item in the near-endless battle against rosette-type weeds, enabling them to be dug-out completely, rather than just torn off at the leaves.

Spring-tined rakes are another essential, useful for preventing the build up of “thatch” within the lawn, aerating the surface area in the spring and removing leaves and dead material from the autumnal garden. A good besom – the traditional birch broom, supposedly beloved of Harry Potter not to mention generations of earlier witches – can also be a great help in keeping the lawn free of debris.

Watering Tools

Drought is one of the lawn-keeper’s worst enemies – and it goes way beyond a plague of brown patches across the turf. In a dry summer, prolonged water-starvation can leave the best of lawns weakened and exposed to potential invasion by mosses and weed when conditions do eventually return to normal. Watering is an essential aspect of lawn management; a hose-pipe and sprinkler allows for adequate watering during the summer – coupled with a good watering can, when hose-pipe bans begin to bite!

Other Useful Tools

As any visit to a local garden centre will quickly reveal, there’s no shortage of other tools on sale to make the task of lawn management easier, including a whole range of edging tools, rollers, aerators, fertilizer spreaders, mechanical sweepers and rakes. Although none of these could be strictly called entirely “essential”, they all play their part in making the job of lawn maintenance easier – which inevitably makes them worth considering, at least.

Whatever type of lawn tools you buy, make sure you keep them clean, sharp and properly maintained; well cared for, they can – quite literally – last you a lifetime, so it’s worth choosing wisely and taking good care of them.

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