Caring for the gardens, beds and borders that make up a home landscape requires a set of helpful tools. Depending on the size and complexity of your project, your landscaping toolbox can be simple or elaborate. When you buy tools to maintain your property, buy the best quality you can afford. Look for durable materials, solid welds and connections and a well-balanced feel. For easy, trouble-free use, keep your tools sharp, clean and well maintained.
All gardens begin with digging. Small, hand-held trowels are used to plant bulbs and small plants. Bigger holes need bigger shovels. Shovel blades can be round pointed or square pointed. Handles can be straight or D-shaped.
Clippers and loppers are used to trim branches of varying sizes. To avoid fatigue and blisters, choose hand clippers to fit your hand size. Use hand clippers for branches under ½ inch. For larger branches, loppers are needed. For cutting dry wood, choose an anvil lopper. For green wood, opt for a bypass lopper.
For shrub trimming, a hedge trimmer is useful. Manual hedge trimmers are good for fine detail trimming. For larger areas, a power trimmer is faster. Single or doubled bladed power trimmers are available in corded, battery-operated and gasoline-powered versions with various blade lengths.
Most weeding requires little more than your two hands, but for difficult weeds with deep taproots--like the dreaded dandelion--a sharp, pointed metal weeder can be used. Weeders are inserted into the soil to cut taproots and dislodge weeds. Available in short- or long-handled versions with straight or angled blades, weeders can be used in beds or lawns.
For weeding between the rows in garden beds, consider a hoe. Hoes are also available in a variety of shapes and lengths. A well-balanced circle hoe, heart-shaped warren hoe or a flat-bladed draw hoe can clear large areas of small, shallow rooted weeds quickly.
Grass means different things to different people. To some, it's a little patch of green outside an urban brownstone. To others, it's several acres of rolling lawn, meadow and woods. The tools you need to cut your grass depend on how much grass you have. A manual or reel mower is good for small, flat yards. Electric or battery-operated push mowers have limited range but they are suitable for small yards or confined areas in larger yards. Gas powered push mowers cover more ground and, if self propelled, are easy to push. For larger yards and meadows, a rider mower or lawn tractor may be needed.
The two most common rakes are the garden rake and the lawn and leaf rake. Garden rakes are used to smooth soil, break up dirt clods and remove rocks from cultivated soil. Lawn and leaf rakes are used to collect leaves and debris from lawns. Both types of rakes are available in a variety of widths, materials and handle lengths.