Lawn Care Tools: What Essentials Do You Really Need?

Lawn care tools

If the grass is always greener on your neighbor’s side, it probably means that you probably do not have the best lawn care tools.

If you want to maintain a lush green lawn, a simple lawn mower and watering hose won’t do the trick.

That’s because there are a ton of elements to landscaping besides cutting the grass, including weeding, fertilizing, aerating, and edging.

Fortunately, if you have the right lawn care tools in your arsenal, maintaining your lawn can be a breeze.

No matter how small or big your lawn or garden is, these essential landscaping tools can help you keep it green and lush.

If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of the lawn care tools, we got you covered:

Lawn Care Tools

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Lawn Sprinkler

Lawn Sprinkler

If the grass in your lawn is brown and shriveled up in the summer, it will definitely affect your curb appeal.

In places that see scarce rainfall, it is important to keep your yard irrigated. To make sure your turf remains green, you require water sprinklers.

Typically, a lawn needs about one inch of water or 2.4 liters of water per square foot of grass every week to stay in good shape.

If you have water sprinklers installed in your yard, then that chore becomes much easier.

The best types of sprinklers are adjustable and can water your garden in different patterns.

You can also check their flow rate to see how long you need to keep the sprinklers on so that the lawn gets a sufficient amount of water.

There are various types of water sprinklers that provide different options for coverage area, water pressure, and water patterns.

The size of your lawn can be a factor in determining which type of water sprinklers to buy.

If you have a large lawn, pulsating sprinklers that are fixed to the ground and send a good-pressured stream of water for a specific radius can be a good choice.

If you have a small lawn, a rotary sprinkle can be a helpful option.

Aside from these features, sprinklers that come with an automatic timer and a shutoff valve can be a good choice for homeowners if they do not have the time or inclination to monitor the watering.

Pro Tip: When buying a sprinkler system, remember that they will be exposed to the elements and may become victim to your children or pet’s yard activities.

So make sure you buy high-quality sprinklers that last for a long time and do not break easily.

Sprinklers can cost anywhere from $10 to an upward of $100. In most cases, the cheapest or the most expensive option does not provide the best value. Determine the needs of the lawn, and buy the water sprinkler accordingly.

Dethatcher

Dethatchers

De-thatching or dethatching is the removal of dead turf from your lawn.

This is a buildup of layers of dead grass and debris, and can be damaging to your lawn since they prevent water and plant nutrients from seeping down into the soil.

A small amount of thatch isn’t an issue, but if it accumulates, it can be rather troublesome.

Even though it is important to dethatch your lawn, dethatching should be done carefully as it has the potential to damage grassroots.

A tool known as a lawn dethatcher or a lawn scarifier is used to remove the thatch.

Dethatcher is a mechanical device that consists of multiple tines or metal blades that rigorously scrape off the dead debris from the grass-root level.

Usually, dethatching is done by landscaping professionals since they know the level of power needed to safely clear the turf of your lawn without damaging the living grass.

Pro-Tip: The type of grass you use can determine the best time of the year to dethatch.

If you grow cool-season grass, early fall or early spring are both good times to dethatch. If you have warm-season grass, then late spring or early summer works well.

Lawn Sweeper

Lawn Sweepers

A lawn sweeper is a lawn care tool that is pulled or pushed to remove fallen leaves, twigs, and other yard debris from your grass.

A lot of homeowners who do their own yard work prefer lawn sweepers as they are much quicker and easier to use, and require less effort to operate than regular rakes.

Lawn sweepers are equipped with high-velocity rotating brushes that comb through the grass, dislodge yard debris, and then fling it into a hopper or bag.

Once the bag is full, it is emptied into the trash.

For homeowners with small lawns, a push lawn sweeper that can is manually operated can provide a lot of value at an affordable price.

Additionally, you get some exercise while working your lawn.

Most commercial landscaping businesses, however, prefer tow-behind or pull lawn sweepers that are attached to a tractor.

These are better suited to clear up larger lawns in a quick, efficient, and less tiring manner.

Pro –Tip: Lawn sweepers can be worked all year round. In the spring, you can use lawn sweepers to clear up winter debris like dead twigs and sticks.

In early spring, lawn sweepers can be used to dethatch your lawn.

They are also commonly used to remove grass clippings after a lawnmower has done its job.

However, fall is perhaps the best time to use lawn sweepers as it can make picking up leaves and pine needles a breeze.

Manually-operated push lawn mowers can be bought anywhere from $100 to $200. Push lawn mowers typically cost about $300 to $400 as they are more heavy-duty.

Electric Lawn Mower

Electric Lawn Mowers

Lawnmowers are perhaps the most important of all lawn care tools.

These do not just allow you to keep the length of your grass at an appropriate level, but they also get rid of weeds like dandelions.

A few decades ago, there was a lot of emphasis on gasoline-powered lawn mowers as they are very efficient.

Even though these lawnmowers are still used, thanks to green awareness, many people are now leaning towards electric lawnmowers.

Electric lawnmowers can be operated via rechargeable batteries or plug-in cords.

These lawnmowers are available in various models and come with many advantages, like reduced carbon footprints that are a result of burning fossil fuels.

Additionally, they are much quieter than their gasoline-operated counterparts, which means noise pollution is cut down and your mowing experience is peaceful.

A high-quality lawn mower need not make a big dent in your wallet. An average electric lawn mower can cost between $90 and $200.

This is still an investment, though, so it is imperative that you keep it maintained.

No matter how expensive your electric lawn mower is, if you don’t sharpen its blade, change its oil seasonally, and replace its spark plugs, it will not last very long.

Pro-Tip: Many electric motors are also equipped with additional featured like self-bagging options that gather grass clipping.

Some grass mowers also come with mulchers that chop up the cut grass clippings and deposit them back to the lawn.

This is a particularly useful feature as it not just provides the lawn with good feed but also eliminates cost that comes from extra use of fertilizers.

String Trimmer

String Trimmer

A string-trimmer is an electric or a gas-powered lawn care tool that is equipped with a heavy-duty nylon string.

This nylon-string whips at high velocity to cut down any blades of grass in its path.

Since a lawn trimmer is more compact than a lawnmower, it can easily get into places that a lawnmower cannot reach.

Such places include under the deck, or around trees, bushes, flowerbeds, fences, and mailboxes.

Most homeowners and commercial landscape services prefer electric-powered string trimmer since it reduces pollution.

A commercial model can cost anything between $200 and $400.

Pro-Tip: Some string trimmer models come with adjustable heads.

With a simple turn, your trimmer can turn into an edger that can help you edge of grass so that it doesn’t invade your sidewalk or driveway and give your lawn that perfect manicured look.

Hose/ Hose Reel

Hose Reel

A hose is one of the most vital and the simplest to use garden equipment. If you want to keep your garden green and shiny, it is advisable to invest in a garden hose.

Hoses are available in a variety of sizes including garden hoses, lead-free hoses, and industrial-strength hoses.

If you want to get a hose to simply irrigate your yard, a 5/8th inch garden hose is a good option for you.

To make sure you have the right length for your hose, grab a tape measure and measure the distance between the water supply and the further reaches of your lawn.

It is also advisable to add a few feet to that length so that you can spray tree branches on the edge of your lawn as well.

Just remember that as the size of your hose increases, the pressure of the water will decrease.

However, that isn’t usually a problem at all.

Since a hose can cost as little as $10 to $75 depending on its size, it is a good idea to buy multiple hoses.

Rubber hoses may be more expensive than vinyl option and if you want durability, you can buy good-quality hoses at every price point.

Pro-Tip: one important thing that homeowners need to remember is not to overwater their lawn.

This can lead to seepage and rot and can kill many of your plants. To make sure how much water should be given to your lawn, use the “screwdriver” method.

Take a screwdriver and plunge it into the ground until it is six inches deep.

If you can do that easily, it means the topsoil is sufficiently moist and does not need more watering.

However, if you have trouble pushing in the screwdriver, you will need to irrigate the turf.

Edger

Edgers

An edger or an edge trimmer is a lawn tool that can help to remove creeping grass from over sideways, driveways and other concrete borders.

It is also a great tool to form distinct parameters between other softer ground like grass beds.

As with most garden tools, edger can be manually-operated, gas-powered, or electric-powered.

It is equipped with a sharp metal blade and a cutting edge to trim off the grass.

Most manual models come with a sharp half-moon blade or a cutting wheel that trims grass by applying pressure to the top of the blade.

Power edgers come with a circular rotating blade that trims off grass encroaching on hard ground.

As mentioned before, some string trimmers also have a combination head that can turn into an edger with a single pivot allowing the nylon string to trim vertically.

Pro-Tip: if you want to do a really good job, mow later and run an edger first on your lawn.

This way you can eliminate the need to rake later as the lawn maker will pick up all the cut grass or use it to make mulch.

Rake

leaf rakes

Rake is one of the classic and most affordable lawn care tools that you need. Even though they are pretty simple tools, rakes can be quite versatile when it comes to landscaping.

These tools can scrape, scatter, and gather and they come in several varieties.

Since they are quite affordable, it is not a bad idea to get multiple rakes for a wide variety of uses for your garden.

A fan style garden rake can remove dead leaves and debris from your garden, while a soil rake with rigid sharp tines is a good option for raking up the soil.

This can help push spread mulch over your lawn or dig groves in the soil to plant seeds.

Garden rakes are also made from material like plastic, bamboo, and steel. Any of those materials can work well for you, depending on the intensity.

Steel rakes are quite strong and can give you quicker, more powerful coverage.

They are also the best kind of rakes to scrape off soil for seeding.

Plastic and bamboo rakes can work well for light leaf and lawn raking.

Rakes can vary in size from about 8 inches to 24 inches. They also have prongs with varying lengths.

Rakes can typically cost you anywhere between $8 and $30, depending on the size and manufacturer.

Since they are so affordable, you can buy rakes ion two or three sizes to take care of your lawn.

Pro-Tip: It can be very cumbersome to bend down, pick up piles of garden debris, and stuff it into a bag every time you rake a particular area of your lawn.

Instead, take a sheet of tarp with you, rake your leaves on top of it and pull the tarp behind you to take the leaves where you can dispose of them.

This is an easier and more efficient method of raking your lawn.

Leaf Blowers

Leaf Blower

In our busy lives, it can be pretty troublesome to dust off or sweep your driveway, garage or other hard ground that is close to the yard.

Instead of picking up a broom to do the job, a leaf blower can be a great help.

A leaf blower is a powerful device that can be operated by gas, rechargeable battery or a plug-in cord.

Although it does the same tasks as a rake, i.e. remove dead leaves, twigs, and other debris out of garden beds, lawn, and under your deck, it does so by blowing them away.

This means you can clear up your property with much less effort and more quickly.

Additionally, they also reduce the risk of damaging the grassroots that can sometimes happen when you use a regular rake.

Although they are quite effective, the use of blowers is restricted in some areas as they can be quite loud, which means you will disturb your neighbors while operating it.

However, many people appreciate the speed with which it can clear away debris from nit just the lawn but also hard structures like gravel as well.

So if you want to buy a leaf blower, make sure you get one that does not produce too much noise.

Pro-Tip: When buying a leaf blower, look for models that can turn into a vacuum as well.

This can help you suck up leaves to turn them into mulch or to dispose of them in a convenient way.

Lawn Aerator

Lawn Aerator

Another power tool that is usually used by commercial landscapers rather than homeowners is a lawn aerator.

This is also known as a core aerator.

Although a lot of people confuse dethatching with aerating, they are not exactly the same thing.

Dethatching removes the layers of dead debris that prevent nutrients from entering the soil and it can be done in every season.

Aerating, on the other hand, perforates your lawn and removes cores of soil and turf so that air, water, and nutrient can easily access the roots of the grass.

This is much like the function that earthworms perform.

Unlike dethatching, landscaping experts recommend aerating be done annually or just once in two years.

A lawn aerator is available in two types.

A core aerator that is equipped with hollow tines that rip out small cores or plugs from the ground; and a spike aerator that is equipped with solid spikes that punch holes in the turf as the aerator is operated.

Aeration is very instrumental in alleviating soil compaction, which can occur in heavily used lawns, particularly those that see heavy children and pet activities.

When lawns become overly compact, they do not sufficiently allow air, water, and nutrients to go deep into the soil and provide sustenance to the roots.

A lawn aerator can also be used in dry areas of your lawn that require nutrition

If you have a small or medium-sized lawn, it may be a good investment to buy a lawn aerator for yourself rather than rent one out.

A hand-operated aerator can cost just $25 to $40 so it can provide you with a lot of value.

Pro-Tip: The best time for aerating your lawn is during the growing season when the grass has a chance to heal.

This means cool-season grass should be aerated in early spring while warm-season grass is aerated in late spring or early summer.

Lawn Spreader

Lawn Spreader

A spreader is a lawn care push tool that is very efficient in spreading soil, fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides on your lawn.

There are typically two types of lawn spreaders.

There is a broadcast or rotary spreader, which consists of a spinning arm that flings material in a radius as you push the spreader across the lawn.

Then there is the drop spreader, which drops substance through small openings at the base of the spreader.

There are also crank-operated spreaders which spread material as you turn a crank while walking across your lawn.

However, they require a bit more effort than the type of spreaders mentioned above.

Since these tools are pretty inexpensive, people who like to take care of their own lawns should definitely get one for themselves.

Pro-Tip: A broadcast granular spreader is a good option for spreading fertilizer and herbicides across your lawn.

For spot treatment, a drop spreader may be a better option.

How Much Money Do You Need For Proper Lawn Care?

Lawn Care How much does it cost

Depending on how many services you require to maintain your lawn, the price of professional lawn care can vary.

For example, if you want your landscape contractor to spread herbicides or fertilizer on your lawn, then it can cost more than simple lawn mowing.

To ensure you don’t get a nasty surprise when you see the bill, determine what services you want to be done.

You can then ask your lawn care service provider about the cost of each service.

Some of the most common services offered by landscaping contractors include:

  • Spreading fertilizer: According to Home Advisor, fertilizing your lawn can cost anywhere between 0.02 to 0.14 per square foot each year. You can multiply these numbers with the number of square feet your yard comprises to find how much it will cost you.
  • Seeding: Since there is a huge variety of seeds and different-sized yards across the United States, it can be difficult to determine how much seeding costs. However, according to ImproveNet data, the typical average cost is $752 per lawn.
  • Weeding:  According to Air Tasker, the average cost of weeding is between $60 and $120, depending on the amount of weeding required in your garden and what lawn care method is being used.
  • Mowing: If you don’t have a huge front yard, you may get away with up to $60 for mowing.
  • Aeration: The average cost for aerating a lawn is $150, though it can be as low as $40 or as high as $260.
  • Tree Removal: Tree removal can start from $75 and can go over $3,500. Yikes. The high price account for the size and the weight of the tree and the difficulty in cutting it down.

As you can see, there is a significant amount of investment required to have your lawn cared for by professionals.

However, if choose to go the DIY root, there are significant costs associated with it as well.

If you intend to buy all these lawn care tools, you will need to pay for them upfront.

Additionally, as mentioned in the list of tools, all of these tools come with varying costs and you will also have to pay for the fuel required to operate them.

There are several models of electric lawn mowers that are available under $200.

However, if you have a huge lawn, you will need a bigger, more powerful lawnmower and the cost of that can be more than a thousand bucks.

hand lawn mowers

If you are not averse to some physical labor, a more basic lawnmower can do the trick. However, you will also need to invest in other equipment like rakes, trimmer, and lawn blowers.

Moreover, there is also an ongoing cost associated with your tools as they will need to be maintained, and repaired so that they last a long time.

This will require some effort on your part.

As you can see, buying, powering, and maintaining your lawn care tools is quite a big investment.

On the other hand, hiring a landscaping contract company to do the work for you can be even more expensive.

You need to decide whether you are willing to do the physical labor yourself or can afford to pay a landscaper to do the job for you.

Some people find that caring for their own lawn offers a lot of benefits, not just financially, but health-wise as well.

Taking all these things into account, you should decide what mode of lawn care is better for you.

Conclusion Lawn Care Tools

Keeping your lawn lush, green and picture-perfect can add more value to your home.

Now that you know what is required to create an immaculate lawn, you can start gathering your lawn care tools, if you are interested in becoming a DIY landscaper.

If not, a landscaping contractor can do a good job for you.

Additionally, if you are a regular client and if the company provides services to other homes in your neighborhood as well, you can band together and bargain with your landscaper for a lower price as well.

Remember that creating a beautiful lawn will require money, time, and energy, but you will see that it is worth the effort.

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