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Landscaping Tools for Lawn Care:

Types of Yard and Garden Equipment Needed to Stop Paying Your Landscaping Contractor

© 2009 by all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission

Lawnmowing a Soccer Field

With landscaping, mowing, and other duties in the world of yard work, you’ve basically got two choices; you can do it yourself or find a local lawn care contractor through word of mouth or through a service company feedback database service like I highly recommend Angie’s List.

When you decide to avoid your local lawn care contractor or landscaping service, you need knowledge about what kind of equipment you need for your particular landscaping.

It’s essential to own a dependable lineup of landscaping and lawn care tools. The previous article went into detail on the selection and maintenance of lawn mowers because being the workhorse lineup, it was the logical place to start.

Now let’s have a look at the other varieties of lawn care equipment you’ll most likely need.

The Weed Eater, also Known as a Weed Whacker

This little beauty is a late entry into the marketplace compared to the lawn mower and wheelbarrow but it’s versatility at its best. The weed eater is an all-around machine. And with a wee bit of experience, it will prove its worth by performing the job of a landscaping edger, meaning one fewer tool in your arsenal.

This device also whips out other jobs, like getting in close quarters where your mower can’t reach, as well as clearing out grass or weed that are too overgrown for your mower.

The weed eater is available in both gas and electric models. A gas-powered weed eater gives you much more bang for your hard-earned buck. They require little maintenance. The usual parts that you’ll find yourself replacing are the cutting string and the spark plug.

That’s about it as far as routine maintenance goes (other than perhaps an air filter). The bump-head will only need to be replacement when it gets overly banged up (you bump it on the ground to let more string out.

Your spark plug needs to be replaced as a part of the spring maintenance ritual. Under general conditions, a typical reel of cutting string will last at least an hour or two. With the newer Ryobi models, you don’t even need to remove the bump-head to replenish it.

Landscaping Edgers

A landscaping edger is a dedicated tool to do just what you might expect it to; trim edges. Usually, they are used for cutting an arrow-straight or gently-curving, smooth line alongside your curbs, sidewalks, as well as your driveway.

In other words, anyplace where a concrete slab meets grass.

They may also be used occasionally where your lawn butts up to your flower bed.

Like other lawn care tools, edgers are made to be electric or gas powered. Your choice is just a matter of personal preference.

An electric edger is a green tool on your end (only the electricity generated at the local plant spews out carbon emissions and angers the hypocritical “carbon bigfoot” Al Gore).

The gasoline-powered edger has a huge advantage over the electric one in my opinion; there’s no extension cord to drag around. However, the two-stroke motor generates fumes and is much louder.

Your Lowly Wheelbarrow

Granted, the common wheelbarrow seems pretty basic, but your single-wheeled helper will save you an incredible amount of grunt work. It’s utilized in moving all your grounds-keeping equipment from area A to area B. It will also tote landscape timbers and bags of soil to the area you’re working on.

Your wheelbarrow will have only one wheel in front and you have two tire choices: solid, and inflatable. The inflatable tire will provide a much softer ride, but it will have to be aired up periodically and may flat during periods of inactivity.

Shovels, Spades, and Rototillers

Your shovel and spade are also unsophisticated tools used for working smaller landscaping projects, mixing concrete, digging post holes, and numerous other tasks. There are several blade shapes and designs sold: flat blade, spade (pointed), and post hole (narrow) are the most common.

Note: always wear gloves, regardless of how tough you are!

The rototiller is ideal for working larger tracts of soil. It’s utilized in turning your soil in your vegetable garden, flower bed, or landscaping area. Since rototillers are motorized (gas-powered), it’ll save you an incredible amount of back-wrenching labor.

Best of all, you can get rid of your mule and plow! Since most folks only used these one or two days a year, most prefer to rent rather than buy.

The Best Landscaping Equipment Manufacturers

You’ve got choices! But which companies produce the most reliable machines? Stihl, Black & Decker, John Deere, Ryobi, Honda, Brill, and Homelite are generally considered to be the leading manufacturers.

I once heard Randy Lemon say Honda made the best lawn mower, and believe me, if Randy says it’s so, it’s so. Bottom line, There are many excellent ones on the market now, and with the current economic downturn, there are deals to be made.

As always, use your safety equipment when operating landscaping equipment.

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© 2009 all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.