The Importance of the Right Tools for Lawn Care
If you want a beautiful lawn, you need to start with the right tools. A dull mower blade will rip the grass and lend the lawn a messy sheen. An improperly calibrated spreader will put too much or to little weed killer on the lawn, resulting in a weedy lawn or burnt grass. Over the years of working on and maintaining lawns in various growing conditions, I've come to appreciate the benefits of nice tools. Here's what to look for when you select lawn care tools.
Spring for a Nice Mower
You really do get what you pay for. If you can, spring for the best. I'll never forget the day a donor wheeled a brand new Husqvarna mower into the garden where I worked. We had little money and could almost never afford new tools. Mowing the lawn in the center of the formal gardens was a chore that everyone fought over not doing-until we got the new mower. Suddenly, everyone wanted to mow! The large back wheels made it easier to turn. It was easy to adjust the height, and it was self-propelled. A dream. The right mower can mean the difference between "do I have to?" and "It's a great day to mow!"
No No Blow and Go!
This is my personal taste, but I really hate leaf blowers. They're loud, they're noisy, and they cause a ton of pollution. If you have a mulching mower, a decent shop broom, and a large plastic leaf rake, you can easily get by without a blower. The key is to mow often in the fall and chop up the leaves. They make excellent natural fertilizer for the lawn, anyway. Use the leaf rake to hit the spots that are difficult to reach with the mower. You can even use a lightweight plastic leaf rake to rake right over plants in perennial beds. A small plastic shrub rake is really handy, too. You can rake between fragile perennials and get leaves out from under shrubs.
Spot Sprayers and Spreaders
If you come from the school of "oh just put that anywhere" in terms of fertilizer, grass seed, and pre-emergent, the first time you use a drop, rotary, or hand-cranked rotary spreader, you'll be amazed. There's a reason people use these tools: they work. A well-calibrated spreader will evenly distribute your grass seed, pre-emergent herbicide, or fertilizer so that you have evenly seeded lawn areas, and you don't put too much fertilizer or weed killer in one area and not enough in the other. Spot sprayers (a spray bottle of Roundup does the trick) make it easy to zap weeds before they get out of control without needing to spray the entire lawn.
A quick inventory of your lawn care tool kit, and a bit of time procuring the equipment will make your lawn care tasks easier, and, dare I say it-fun!