Five Essential Lawn Care Tools Every Homeowner NeedsApril 25, 2017
In order to have a beautiful, strong lawn, you need to have the right tools. A trip to your local home and garden store proves that, when it comes to lawn care, there is no shortage of tools and gadgets—but the question is, what do you really need? Here are the top five essentials that every homeowner should have in order to maintain a healthy lawn.
The Essential Lawn Care Toolkit
1. The Right Lawn Mower
You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on the fanciest mower on the market. However, it’s always smart to do your homework prior to making a purchase, as this tool is the biggest investment you will make. You want a high quality mower that will last for many years, and while the reputation of the manufacturer plays a role in its longevity, the biggest factor in getting the most bang for your buck comes down to how you maintain it. Regular maintenance is imperative, so get into the habit of sharpening the blades frequently during the mowing season, as well as replacing spark plugs, and changing oil at the start of spring. The type of lawnmower that you need also depends on your specific landscape. Gas-fueled mowers are the most efficient for large yards. If you don’t have much grass to take care of, you can easily get by with an electric model.
Lawn Pro Tip: High Mowing. The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) stresses the importance of mowing heights. NTEP recommends cool season grasses mowed at 1.5” – 2” during early spring and 2” -3” during the summer months. Lucas lawn care professionals recommend that homeowners raise the height of the cut as high as the mower will go during the hot summer season. This allows the turf to store more water within its cells and longer turf blades promote longer and healthier roots.
2. Garden Hoses & Sprinklers
Summers are no stranger to long, dry spells marked by excessive heat. Relying on Mother Nature to provide adequate water is not advisable if you want a healthy lawn. A hose is an absolute necessity for your lawn, as a regular water supply not only promotes growth, but also strengthens the grass’ roots. A sprinkler can assist in making this task much easier for larger expanses of lawn. But the real question is, how much and how often should you water your lawn? And, does the amount of watering differ during cooler and warmer seasons? Over watering leads to turf disease and root die back. Introducing the “tuna can method” …
Lawn Pro Tip: The Tuna Can Method. Cool season turfs only require about 1” of water per week. Place an empty tuna or cat food can (typically about 1” in height) in the catch area of the sprinklers and time how long it takes to fill up the can. This will let you know how long a homeowner should run their sprinklers or irrigation system for the week. If you prefer to water twice per week then simply divide the time it took to water 1” by half
3. Lawn & Leaf Rakes
The importance of owning a good lawn rake, and a good leaf rake, for your yard cannot be stressed enough. Rakes are, perhaps, the most important tools for both spring and fall lawn care, and they are also some of the least expensive. Lawn rakes spruce up matted down grass that has resulted from months of heavy snow by aerating the soil and allowing sun, water, and nutrients to reach the grass roots—and this allows for vigorous growth to begin once more. Leaf rakes clean up the ample New England leaf litter in the fall in order to get it ready for its oncoming dormancy.
Lawn Pro Tip: Tarp This. Rake your leaves onto a tarp, then pull the tarp to take the leaves where you need them. You might find that using this method is a quicker, safer and easier way to accomplish this task than to keep bending over to pick up piles of leaves and stuff them into a garbage bag or onto a wheelbarrow.
Though there are plenty of gas-powered lawn edgers on the market, you really only need a good pair of edging shears, and an edging iron (also called a half moon) for keeping your yard’s edges neat and healthy. It is crucial to maintain the sharpness of the edgers’ blades in order to avoid damage to the grass blades and roots.
Lawn Pro Tip: Mow Last. By edging first, you can eliminate additional raking and bending as the lawnmower with either collect or mulch the edge clippings.
When Your Lawn Care Needs Require More TLC
At some point, it’s possible that your lawn will require the assistance of heavier duty lawn tools. If your lawn is in rough shape due to years of compaction, or you are building a house and need to create a lawn, power tillers, aerators, and seeders are invaluable tools when it comes to giving you the lawn you want. They are also very expensive, and can be dangerous if not used responsibly and with extreme caution. One alternative is to rent these tools from a hardware store so that you only pay for the actual of time you need them. If you do rent, pay the extra fee to cover damage protection so that if anything breaks on your watch, you won’t be responsible for paying for a costly replacement.
Professional Lawn Care is Always an Option
The other alternative for major lawn care undertakings is to seek out a professional lawn care service. If you’re not 100% sure of the tools you’d need to get your lawn up and running, or you’re unsure about how to use them, it’s wise to hire someone who specializes in just that. The sheer volume of specialty lawn care tools available is enough to make anyone’s head spin, and when you’ve got a huge lawn job set out for you, the logistics of just transporting everything you’d need is a lot to handle. Unless you’ve got a large pickup truck, chances are you’ll need to make several trips back and forth just to get everything you need—and that’s not even taking into account the amount of heavy lifting involved.
Save your time, and your back, and let Lucas Tree Experts tackle your lawn care projects. With our team of lawn, plant and tree care experts, you have the assurance of knowing that professional help is just a phone call away. Get in touch with Lucas Tree Experts today!