Cleaning, shaping, and maintaining your yard is a time-honored American tradition. From mowing the grass to trimming the trees, keeping a nicely maintained yard does a lot of good for your home. It looks fantastic, raises property values, keeps pests away, and is sometimes just plain fun to work on. It's one of the major perks of owning a home. Outside of investing in exceptional homeowners insurance, yard maintenance is one of the most important things you can do for your home.
The only way to get the most out of your yard maintenance routine is to use the appropriate tools for the job. Using a weed eater to mow your grass or a dull blade to trim trees isn't going to get you anywhere. Putting the right tools is just as big a part of the process as doing the work itself. Whether it's keeping your backyard ready for the next barbecue or crafting an elegant front yard that'll be the envy of your neighbors, using the right tools is critical.
Here are some yard tools that every homeowner should have:
The beginnings of a strong yard maintenance routine might start with mowing the grass. Keeping your grass mowed works wonders for your home's aesthetics. But did you know it can also benefit your mental health? The precise and repetitive nature of mowing grass can have a calming effect and even promote a sense of well-being. To mow your lawn, you'll need a high-quality lawnmower. Both gas and electric models will get the job done, but an electric one might offer more utility in the long run than a gas-powered one. It ultimately depends on your lawn, needs, and the frequency at which you'll be mowing your lawn.
Like the lawnmower, a weed eater (aka, a string trimmer) plays a specific role in maintaining your yard. Weed eaters are good for trimming the edges and work best when used in conjunction with a lawnmower—not as a substitute. By rapidly spinning a piece of cord inside the unit, string trimmers make quick work of most weeds and tall grass. Using a string trimmer is pretty straightforward, too. Make sure you have good posture, wear some safety gear, and hold the trimmer properly while using it. Hold it a few inches from the ground and sweep it from side to side. If you're doing it right, you'll have clean edges and fewer weeds in no time flat.
When autumn rolls around and the foliage begins raining down from the trees, it's not uncommon for fallen leaves to inundate your (and your neighbor's) yard. During this time, lead blowers can be a godsend for any homeowner facing excessive leaves or debris buildup. With a leaf blower, it's easy to pile up and organize the debris for faster disposal. They also have a surprising number of different uses aside from blowing leaves around. On the downside, leaf blowers can be a bit loud. Cordless leaf blowers are more convenient for most jobs, but might not be as powerful as heavier-duty devices. Assess your needs and choose the tool most appropriate to them for the best results.
Do you ever find yourself needing to cut branches or trim trees, but lack the proper tools? Some days, pruning shears just don't cut it. When those situations arise, a chainsaw is quite useful for trimming large branches and heavy-duty cutting. Powerful chainsaws can be gas or battery-powered, with the latter featuring a rechargeable battery that can last for quite a while. It's also a good practice to check for chain tension, handle construction, and other built-in safety features on your chainsaw. When using a chainsaw, safety should be your top concern. Always wear goggles, gloves, and other safety gear. Never mishandle your tools and only use them for their intended purpose—especially when it comes to using chainsaws for yard maintenance at your home.
When it comes to yardwork, nothing beats the classics. A good rake is a must-have garden and lawn care tool. Leaf rakes—the ones with the springy tines that fan out from the handle—are perfect for raking leaves and making piles. Bow rakes are heavy-duty and can handle some of the tougher jobs. There are also hand rakes to help with some of the finer detailed work in your yard. Whether you're gardening or just doing some basic maintenance, having one of each rake is favorable for all your yard work needs.
Part of keeping your yard looking great is regularly watering your lawn, trees, and hedges. To do that well, you're going to need a robust garden hose that can handle regular use and heavy weather. A rubber hose can handle most types of weather, but you also need to check out the hose's strength, flexibility, and connector quality. Brass fittings are the most durable for the couplings, so it's best to aim for a hose that prominently features them. Choosing the right garden hose for the job can help you keep your lawn vibrant and professional-looking all summer long.