Essential Landscape Tools
Maintaining beautiful, healthy landscaped areas around your home doesn't have to be a chore. Many find that working outdoors in nature tending to a lawn, garden, or other landscaped area to be a beneficial, relaxing, even therapeutic experience.
One of the best ways to ensure your landscaping experience is an enjoyable one is to make sure you have the right tools for the job. Even the most basic outdoor tasks can become tedious or challenging with the wrong tools. The right tools make things so much easier; they don't have to be super expensive, but it is important to make an investment in tools. High-quality tools may cost a bit more, but they'll last for years and years.
Here's a list of essential tools any outdoor enthusiast should have in their arsenal:
Perhaps the most basic of outdoor work tools, the handy shovel is a must-have. Doing almost anything outdoors is going to involve digging at one point or another. A good shovel will never let you down.
As any gardener or landscape enthusiast will tell you, maintaining any landscaped area is a never-ending task. Nature doesn't like to be controlled, and the plants and trees in your outdoor areas will never stop growing. A quality pair of shears will see lots of action. Trimming and pruning trees, shrubs, and other plants will not only help them look more attractive, but can help the plants be healthier and grow stronger.
Keeping trees, shrubs, and other plants looking their best requires constant maintenance. Investing in a good pair of ratchet pruners is a necessity; pruning plants and trees on a yearly basis, will help keep your outdoor areas looking good and preventing overgrowth. Pruning dead branches from trees is also made much easier with pruners.
The lawnmower gets a bad wrap from environmentalists, but most homeowners with a traditional lawn can't do without one. Green homeowners should try to have the cleanest, most efficient mower possible to minimize its environmental impacts. Smaller yards can be maintained with cleaner electric or cordless electric mowers, even old-fashioned push mowers. For lawns over 1/4 acre, a gas-powered push or riding mower will probably be required. Better yet: replace a traditional grass lawn with a mow-free alternative. <links>
A landscapers' best friend, the wheelbarrow is another very helpful tool. Heavy gardening and landscaping requires the transport of dirt, plants, seedlings, and other items. Save time, energy, and your back by investing in a quality wheelbarrow. Wheelbarrows are great not only for landscaping but they come in handy for moving almost any heavy item around.
For basic trimming around trees, posts, sidewalks, patios, etc. a string trimmer comes in very handy. Also known as 'weed whackers,' trimmers are available in gas or electric-powered models. For smaller areas, an electric or cordless trimmer is a clean, green option. Electric trimmers are also much quieter than gas-powered versions. For large areas or areas with lots of brush to clear, a gas-powered trimmer is a better option. They are typically more powerful than electric versions, but are also much louder and very polluting. Investing in a cleaner 4-stroke trimmer will help get the job done with much less pollution.
For bigger, tougher jobs that a pruner or shears can't handle, an electric hedge trimmer can step in and do the job with ease. Electric-powered versions are the cleanest trimmers available, but must be within range of an electrical outlet. Cordless versions are an option, but may lose power quickly. For big jobs, or big outdoor areas, gas-powered trimmers are available that can handle any trimming job. Again, search for the cleanest 4-stroke gas engine trimmer to reduce pollution.
Depending on your outlook, raking can either be a dreadful chore or a rewarding way to get some exercise. Either way, a good rake is another important tool. Clearing leaves and other debris from lawns, gardens, and landscaped areas is a critical job, and is almost impossible without a rake. Choose a quality rake with a padded handle to reduce blisters.
Another 'not-so-green' item, the chain saw is loud, often powered with a dirty, polluting two-stroke engine. Researching and investing in a cleaner 4-stroke chain saw will make short, easy work of large trimming or cutting jobs. They are helpful for clearing trees, trimming branches, cutting wood for fire, clearing downed trees…. any large cutting project requires a good chain saw.
They not officially considered tools, but a good pair (or two) of gardeners' gloves will be your best friend. Working with plants, trees, and tools are a good way to give your hands cuts, blisters, and broken nails. Let the gloves take the hit for you and protect those hands! Some also have allergic reactions when their skin comes in contact with various trees or plants, and gloves will prevent these as well.