Gardening Safety★ Always wear gardening gloves to protect your hands against cuts, soil, insect bites, and skin irritants
★ Comply with the manufacturer's instructions on proper use of the lawn care equipment.
An ideal lawn should be a smooth, leveled, lush green carpet. When looking at it, your mind should feel like plunging right into it. Having a lawn does have many advantages; it can be a good place for kids to play, good for a weekend barbecue, or even for a quick morning tea.
The lawn doesn't just need to be perfect, but happy too. A 'happy lawn' is quite a bizarre concept, you might think! But happy here refers to being properly cared for. Sun, water, and fertilizer is what makes a lawn happy. But always remember, excess or lack of any of these would ruin it. So be careful about proportion and quantity when watering or applying fertilizer.
Here is a list of some basic lawn maintenance tools and equipment required for both, planting and maintenance. In conclusion, refer to the tips on planting a new lawn.
Sometimes also referred to as leveling rakes, these are available either with wooden or stainless steel heads and long handles. Their main purpose is to level the soil prior to plantation, and for sowing seeds. The pointed ends create small burrows and facilitate better sowing. The rake can also be used with the head turned over to give a smoother finish to the patch of land.
It's always better to use a spreader when sowing seeds or adding fertilizer to the ground, rather than using the hands. A drop spreader basically does the function of spreading seeds or fertilizer proportionately over the patch of land where it is hovered upon.
It requires the user to drop seeds or fertilizer into the plastic hopper (green basket-like structure in the illustration) and roll the spreader across the patch proposed for cultivation. When buying one, ensure that the hopper is sturdy with holes large enough for seeds to pass through. Also, the ground clearance should be ample to avoid obstructions of any kind, the wheels should be durable, and the handle should be at a comfortable height with proper grips.
All of us have surely seen a rain barrel and know about its use too. A traditional but very effective technique to give adequate water to the soil is by using a rain barrel/watering can. More so during plantation, when the soil needs to be watered, a rain barrel is the tool you are going to require.
A very basic but useful garden tool and a must-have. Don't forget to check the capacity while buying one. If you find it difficult to lift heavy objects, buy a smaller one which you can lift comfortably.
When the grass grows too much and feels spiky, it's time to mow it. Lawn mowers have become very popular among hobbyists, especially the fuel/electric-powered ones. The traditional push-me lawnmower also does the job, but the level of human effort is too high. Go in for an electric-powered one, as it is cheaper to maintain, and the emission level is low, which makes it more eco-friendly. A costlier option is a ride-on lawnmower, which is necessary for bigger lawns, where pushing the mower isn't really a feasible option.
Mowing the lawn would make it softer and less spiky. When using a lawn mower, always read its manual and make sure you take all the necessary precautions to avoid accidents.
This is a very essential tool when it comes to trimming grass which the mower is unable to reach, especially areas around fences, walls, walkways, tight-corners, and the like. The machine uses a nylon string which rotates at very high speeds to cut the blades of grass. Always buy a string trimmer of a recognized brand, such as Remington or Bosch.
Leaf rakes are used to scrape dead stalks, moss, and other material on a lawn, which is called thatch. A leaf rake should be forcefully scratched across the whole patch of lawn in both horizontal and vertical directions.
These rakes can also be used to get rid of leaves in the lawn during fall, and are quite easily available, besides being very cheap.
With looks similar to that of a witch's broom, besoms are an effective alternative to stiff brooms. This is because, they are made up of wiry brushwood, which really proves useful when sweeping leaves and removing grass clippings after trimming/mowing. Besoms don't need to be bought, and can easily be made at home; tie plenty of birch twigs and straw to a long staff using string, and your besom is ready to use.
If you want to clear away leaves after fall without breaking a sweat, a leaf blower is the best option, even better than a besom or a leaf rake. It's always advised to look after your health and comfort first, and then indulge in your hobby. Leaf blowers can accomplish a lot of tasks, including blowing leaves into piles, cleaning the patio and walkway, and also getting rid of clippings after mowing. A small hand-held blower for a small garden is perfect; they can be either gasoline-powered or electric ones, the latter being a better option any day.
This is a tool used to remove turf from the lawn, and slice underneath, severing the grass roots.
A half-moon edger is a sharp tool used to make crisp edges or clean cuts on the turf. Edgers are used to cut lines where the lawn meets a walkway and flower beds.
A stiff bristled broom is the most basic gardening tool. It is prominently used for brushing top-dressing into the holes created by aeration. It is also used as a utility tool to clean walkways, clear off dirt or debris, and keep the garden neat.
A sprayer is typically used to spray pesticides or herbicides. A herbicide is a chemical used to kill unwanted plants and vegetation. Two types of sprayers are available in stores; one being a backpack style sprayer, and the other a canister sprayer (the one shown in the illustration). Any of the two can be bought, as both serve the same purpose without too much distinction between them. For a small garden, a 2 - 3 gallon canister sprayer is recommended.
A cart which hauls everything from lawn tools, to fertilizer, to lawn waste. Another piece of must-have garden utility equipment.
Sprinklers are an add-on to basic garden equipment. They are meant to save human effort, and are ideal for bigger lawns, though small lawn-owners could install a couple of these too. Sprinklers proportionally sprinkle water all over the lawn at regular intervals, so you don't have to worry about watering the grass everyday.
This is the most important tool. When it comes to so many gardening tools, finding them in one place is really necessary. A tool/equipment organizer does this for you. It keeps all the important tools together, like the broom, rake, string trimmer, edger, shovel, etc.
Tips to Plant a New Lawn
- When planting a new lawn, clear the proposed area off weeds, and make sure that the pH of the soil is appropriate for a healthy lawn.
- Till the land to aerate the soil and soften it.
- Mixing loam and compost proportionately all over the soil would enrich its quality, and provide essential nutrients for a healthy lawn.
- For soil which is acidic, agricultural experts usually recommend the use of lime during sowing.
- Tilling and adding compost makes the soil richer, which could allow more weeds to sprout. Water the tilled land for about two weeks with a rain barrel before sowing the seeds. Wait for the weeds to sprout, so you can get rid of them.