In the time before 25-horsepower, zero-turning-radius lawn mowers, lawn and garden owners in the 19th century had had to rely on live, four-legged mammals to draw their reel mowers across acres of tangled turf.
Nowadays, lawn and garden owners have modern engineering technology to thank for not having their lovely roses trampled underfoot by a bootie-shod Belgian draft horse.
Lawn mowers are not the only category of lawn and garden equipment to benefit from innovation and mass production.
Lawn and Garden : Lawn and Garden Tools and Equipment
Visit any home-and-garden center, and you’ll find all manner of lawn and garden tools, from power mowers with an attached cup holder to anvil pruners that match your favorite pair of Bermudas. But just as the number of lawn and garden tools has multiplied, so has the novice do-it-yourselfer’s confusion. If you are newly bitten by the gardening and landscaping bug, you need to familiarize yourself with various types of lawn and garden tools that have found a permanent home in many a do-it-yourselfer’s tool shed.
Basic lawn and garden tools:
Lawn and garden tools are classified according to the functions they perform in your lawn and garden. Different sets of lawn and garden tools are used for working the soil, planting and carrying, pruning, and safety and protection.
For working the soil:
Garden fork – Also known as the spade fork, the garden fork has flat tines that are good for breaking up, turning, and aerating the soil. This lawn and garden tool is also ideal for separating perennials, digging in rocky soil, and working in fertilizer, organic matter, and other soil amendments.
Hoe – An ancient farm implement, the hoe has long been the tool of choice for light ground breaking and weeding. This lawn and garden tool, which consists of a square blade attached at right angle to a long wooden handle, comes in as many as five varieties, ranging in function from chopping to pulling weeds out by the roots to digging and closing furrows.
Hand weeder – This lawn and garden tool, which looks like a notched screwdriver, gives you the flexibility to remove weeds that have found their way in between plants in a bed. Some gardeners prefer to call the hand weeder by its other name, the dandelion digger.
Hand cultivator – Commonly referred to as “the claw,” the hand cultivator has sturdy prongs to loosen the soil for planting and disentangle weeds.
Rake – One of the most easily identified lawn and garden tools, the rake falls under two basic types: the garden rake and the lawn or leaf rake. Use the garden rake to break up and level out soil for planting and to spread loam or mulch. Use the lawn or leaf rake to gather leaves, grass clippings, and other light debris.
For planting and carrying:
Shovel – Another popular lawn and garden tool, the shovel is used for digging soil and scooping up soil, sand, and other loose material. The round point shovel has a rim on top of the blade to accommodate added foot pressure for digging holes, while the square point shovel is ideal for lifting and moving loose material.
Spade – With its shorter handle and a flatter blade, the spade looks like a downsized version of the shove. Use this lawn and garden tool to dig planting holes, edge beds, cut and lift sods, and mix amendments into the soil.
Trowel – The trowel has a narrow blade that is ideal for digging in small places. This lawn and garden tool is perfect for setting and transplanting bulbs, seedlings, and other small plants in a garden bed.
Wheelbarrows, carts, and wagons – Moving soil, mulch, rocks, plants, young trees, and other heavy materials across your yard is backbreaking work. A wheelbarrow, cart, or wagon can save you a trip to the chiropractor.
Pruners, loppers, saws, and shears – Pruning keeps your plants, trees, and shrubs healthy and attractive. Pruners, loppers, saws, and shears have become indispensable landscaping tools for the lawn and garden. Handheld pruners are used for cutting twigs, stems, and dead branches. Loppers are basically long-handled pruners that are able to cut small branches and stems up to about two inches thick. For cutting low-hanging tree branches, you may need to use a pruning saw. Use shears to cut and trim shrubs, hedges and ornamental grasses in your lawn and garden
Lawn and garden equipment for lawn care
Lawn mowers – The well-manicured lawn and garden turfgrass that you admire in your neighbor’s yard is the work of a properly chosen-and used-lawn mower. Lawn mowers come in a variety of sizes, engine power, and fuel/power supply. Choose a lawn mower based on the size of your yard, type of terrain, and power preferences.
Spreader – Spreaders allow for even distribution of fertilizers, grass seeds, and pest control formulas in your yard and garden. There are several machines for various spreading needs. On either side of the spectrum are the broadcast spreaders, which cover wide areas quickly, and crank-operated spreaders, which are perfect for use in smaller yards.
Trimmer/Edger – Hedge trimmers and edgers give your lawn and garden clean, neat lines that you would otherwise not achieve with just using a lawn mower. Use a hedge trimmer to maintain formal hedges or create uniform pruning lines. Use an edger if you want a neat line between lawn and sidewalk or mulched beds.
Watering device – Ranging from oscillating lawn sprinklers to drip irrigation systems, watering devices keep your lawn and garden healthy and lush. Choose among various kinds of watering devices based on the size and water requirements of your lawn and garden.
Lawn and garden accessories for safety and comfort
Gloves – Working in the lawn and garden with your bare hands exposes them to a host of injuries. Leather or cloth gloves protect your hands from blisters and cuts when handling sharp stones and thorny plants. Gloves made of synthetic materials keep your skin from coming into contact with harmful garden chemicals.
Kneelers and seats – These enabling accessories help reduce the stress and strain on your body when you get down on your knees to work in your lawn and garden. Kneelers act as a cushion against the hard ground. You may also want to use an easy-rise kneeler if you have trouble getting on your knees to work and getting up afterwards. Gardening seats ease back and knee strain and provide balance.
Safety glasses or goggles – Even the American Optometric Association believes safety goggles are a must for home gardeners. These lawn and garden accessories protect your eyes from painful scratches that can be caused by tree or bush branches and from garden chemicals that have the potential to cause burns or eye irritations.