You can learn a lot about a person by the condition of their lawn. A well-kept, lush green lawn tells a person that you’re responsible and well organised and that you take pride in your home. A brown and patchy lawn can (albeit mistakenly) assume that you’re messy and disorganised. The message you send with your lawn needs careful maintenance. 

Nobody wants a lawn that misrepresents who they are as a person. The problem is, lawn maintenance is not always easy. Watering your lawn regularly can help to keep your lawn looking somewhat healthy, but to have a lawn that sends nothing but positive vibes there are some must-have tools you should get. These tools ensure that you create and maintain a lawn that not only you and your family will appreciate, but your neighbours and guests will too. They’ll also make maintaining your type of turf a breeze. 

Must-have lawn maintenance tools

  1. Gloves

Before you even pick up a lawn maintenance tool, purchase yourself a pair of good gardening gloves. These will save you from painful blisters, scrapes, thorns, cuts and general wear and tear and will protect hands from chemicals and fungal infections that can be contracted by certain plants or gardening materials.  

When choosing gloves, durability is important. Even more important, however, is the fit. If they are too big or loose, you won’t have the dexterity you need and gripping tools and plants properly could be tricky. Your gloves should be snug, but not too tight to limit movement.

  1. Rake

Whether you’re preparing your soil to sow lawn seed or you’re trying to keep instant turf thriving, a rake is an essential item. A levelling rake with evenly spaced teeth will provide seed with the perfect soil texture to germinate in and can be used post-sowing to remove organic matter from established turf. A spring tined rake can be used to remove build up of dead grass or leaves, which can suffocate grass if it’s not dealt with in a timely manner. 

  1. Leaf blower

For quick and efficient cleaning of your yard, you can’t beat a leaf blower. Leaf blowers are versatile pieces of equipment and aren’t just made for blowing leaves. They can move grass clippings, clear wet garden debris, and be used to dry wet surfaces. 

Some models can even be turned into outdoor vacuums, allowing you to gather up dead leaves and turn them into mulch. 

  1. Fertiliser spreader

For feeding and weeding your lawn, a broadcast granular spreader is a must. It disperses fertiliser uniformly in a wide arc and reduces contact with potentially dangerous chemicals. 

You can use a fertiliser spreader to apply any lawn treatment, including grass seed, insecticide, lime, fungicide and fertiliser. The machine will evenly apply the product for more consistent results and will use less product than if you were applying by hand.

  1. Sprayer

Much like a fertiliser spreader, a sprayer helps you to control where you apply a product and how much you apply. It can also help you to spray underneath plants if required. Hose-end sprayers are inexpensive and easy to use, while tank or backpack sprayers allow you to carry more product for bigger lawns. 

  1. Lawn mower

Even if you hire someone to take care of your lawn mowing it pays to have a lawn mower on hand for emergency trims. Landscaper hold ups can happen and you never know when the in-laws might show up! 

Choose a mower that matches up with what you need for your lawn and your comfort. Look for a lawn mower that’s the right height for you and with an engine size that will handle tasks like cutting through tall grass, wet grass, leaf mulching and bagging. If using a ride on mower, add a dethatcher to the back which will quickly help you to rough up your lawn, remove dead grass and allow air and water to penetrate the surface to improve the growth of your grass. 

  1. String trimmer

A string trimmer allows you to cut grass and weeds in the places your lawn mower can’t reach. A good string trimmer means you can be agile around obstacles such as fences, trees, decks, bushes, pots and mailboxes. Look for trimmers with adjustable length shafts or handles so you can customise to your height. Battery-powered trimmers are generally quieter than gas-powered trimmers, but even so you might like to use ear protection when running your string trimmer as they can be noisy. 

  1. Shears

To prevent overgrowth of trees and bushes that can shade the lawn and cause it to die overtime, get yourself some shears. Hand-held pruning shears are great for decorative plants while larger hedge shears are better for shrubbery. To keep trees and palm prongs looking neat and tidy, invest in a pair of looping shears. 

  1. Garden trowel

It’s important that you dig out weeds early before they expand and kill off the lawn underneath them. Garden trowels can be used to dig up weeds that appear on the lawn, as well as install small plants and bulbs. You can fix bare areas quickly with seed or turf sods. 

  1. Hose or sprinkler system

There are two things that every lawn needs and that’s sun and water. You can’t harness the power of the weather but you can harness the power of a hose or sprinkler system to keep your lawn hydrated. To test if your lawn requires watering, take a screwdriver and put it into the ground until it hits 6 inches deep. If the soil’s not wet enough, it’s time to get the hose or sprinkler out. 

  1. Aerator

Over time, it’s common for your lawn to become so compressed that air and water has difficulty penetrating the surface. This prevents your grass from growing as it should. A handheld aerator with solid or hollow tines will relieve the compaction of your yard. 

Investing in the basics

Gardening tools are like kitchen appliances. There are a million different gadgets to choose from and at the end of the day, as long as you’ve got the basics covered – the cutlery, the crockery and utensils – you can get by just fine. The moral of the story is, you don’t need to fill the garden shed. You just need a selection of the correct tools on hand. 

With access to the tools listed above and the right kind of turf you’ve got everything you need to have a lush and beautiful lawn. The next step is to apply a regular maintenance routine in line with the seasons. This is the best way to protect your lawn landscape investment and to have the best looking lawn in the street that says only good things about you.

Perhaps you’ve toyed with the idea of gardening for a while, but you never quite got around to starting. But now the inner gardener in you has finally pushed through, and you’ve made up your mind to dive headfirst into gardening. The only problem is you have zero experience when it comes to tending to a garden. As daunting as it may seem, there are a couple of pointers you can follow to customize that garden to fit your expectations.

  1.   Know Your Garden’s Function

A garden can be multifunctional or serve a single purpose. Maybe it’s a space where you want to start growing a few vegetables. Or it could be you want a garden that helps to elevate your house’s aesthetic value. Perhaps you want a space where you and your family can sit and relax on a Sunday afternoon.

Knowing your garden’s function is vital since it will guide your landscape design. If you want a cultivation and recreation space, then you could partition it accordingly.  If you’re going to a place to grow a few flowers or shrubs, then you’ll have to think about varieties that complement the rest of your home’s look. The bottom line, functionality is an essential determiner of your garden’s landscape layout.

  1.   Have the Right Tools for the Job

So you’ve settled on the concept of a lovely little vegetable garden. You’ll need your shovel, spreading fork, spade, hoe, and so on. You’ll also need to address the issue of weeds and what better than a weed eater for the job. With cordless options available, look out for something lightweight and with a brushless motor, preferably for a more comfortable gardening experience.

If you’ve settled on an aesthetic garden, you’ll want something to keep the grass in prime condition. There’s no better companion than a push mower for all your grass cutting needs. An ideal push mower should be easy to use while also being robust enough to get the job done. Look out for a mower with a large enough deck that allows for a smooth transition from rear bagging to side discharge to enable a seamless grass cutting experience.

  1.   Appreciate Humble Beginnings

Those gardening T.V. shows have a way of making it all seem effortless. They swoop in, spruce up a place in a couple of days, and that’s that. So you sit there and wonder how you’ll manage to pull off something of that proportion. But the fact is those shows have crews of tens of people working behind the scenes to get the job done.

Chances are you’re a one-person show when it comes to your garden landscaping. Cut yourself some slack and understand that it’ll take time to achieve the look you’re aiming for. Rome wasn’t built in a day and so won’t your dream garden.

  1.   Location Matters

The last thing you want when designing and landscaping your garden is having it clash with the rest of your home. That’s why it’s essential to factor in your garden’s location. Case-in-point, using tire planters on the front end of your home. You may have a soft spot for them, but tire planters work better as a backyard ornament since not everyone may find them pleasing.   

The location also matters when it comes to weather patterns. If you want a garden where you can enjoy some morning sun, then place it on the east side of your home. If you want your plants to enjoy some sweet afternoon sun, then a west side garden would do.

  1.   Budgeting Is Important

Landscaping and money can’t be separated. And if you’re hoping to pull off your dream garden look, having a budget is an essential factor. Those plants and tools won’t come cheap.

Budgeting will help you get a scope of what can and can’t be done. Aside from the obvious stuff like seedlings, equipment, and fertilizer, you might also want to hire professionals to help you out. Each garden design comes with its cost implication.

  1.   Consider Maintainability Just as Much as Design

Getting a garden started is quite the uphill task, but what comes requires just as much input and effort. It’s easy to get worked up and overcommit yourself. But if you’re going all out, then understand that the maintenance aspect will also require a lot.

Choose some low maintenance plants for starters. Basil is a good option if you want to build a herb-based garden. A good option for a flower choice is Hydrangeas since they require minimal pruning. Choosing easier-to-maintain plants is a sure way to keep your garden thriving with minimum input.

  1.   Landscape Around a Focal Point

When designing your garden, select one point that will draw the eye’s attention to it. The focal point could be a beautiful tree, a stunning sculpture, or a simple tchotchke. Once you’ve incorporated your focal point, work outwards from there with smaller and more reserved pieces that compliment it without being distracting.

Avoid going overboard with the accessories in your garden. There’s a fine line between accessorizing and destroying. An overdone garden will give off a look of desperation rather than function. So, use ornaments sparingly.  

  1.   Light It Up

A great way to let your garden stand out is to add some lighting to it. That way, when the sun and night set in, your entire garden could draw the awe of passersby and neighbors alike. You’ve worked hard on getting your garden in tip-top shape, so why not show it off?

You could use light to brighten up the pathway, highlight your focal point, or to create a unique feel. Choose an outdoor light that works well with your landscape. Avoid lights that are too bright since they’ll compromise the ambiance you’re trying to create.

Landscaping your garden is a big undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible one. A bit of research goes a long way, and these tips are a perfect way to get a grasp of what to do. So dare to dream and turn your dream yard into a reality.

Producing a bountiful organic garden may be easier than you think. If you would like to try growing one, there are several pointers you may want to consider. Here are some of the steps to growing a beautiful organic garden.

Plant the Correct Plants

Planting certain crops together helps to keep weeds away and helps the plants to thrive. If you are going to plant onions, then consider planting interspersing them with Swiss chard, lettuce and carrots. Peas love to be planted alongside beans, carrots and corn. Squash plants thrive when they are planted alongside other vine plants like cucumbers and melons. Alternatively, corn provides good shade for peas and beans.

Control Weeds

It is important to control weeds early in an organic garden. Mulching the garden before you start helps to prevent weeds from growing. Plant vegetables and flowers so that their leaves barely touch at maturity. Try covering the ground with a groundcover plant between rows. Use drip irrigation to get the water only where you need it. Spray weeds with a combination of olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

Use Beneficial Insects

Many vegetables and flowers will not pollinate without bees. Lacewings discourage aphids and mealybugs from munching on your vegetables. Ground beetles come out at night keeping slugs, snails and cutworms from feasting on your food in the garden. Soldier beetles help to grow aphids. Ladybugs often consume up to 60 insects a day helping to stop insect problems in your organic garden.

Unfortunately, not all creatures that enter your garden will be beneficial. Snails and slugs, for example, should be kept at bay as they will try to eat anything that is leafy and possibly other plants as well. Here are a few things that will keep snails and slugs away:

  • Crushed Egg Shells
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Mint Plants
  • Salt
  • Powdered Chalk

Some of those ideas might sound weird to you, but you’ll definitely find them useful if you find yourself having a hard time keeping snails and the like out of your garden.

Build Good Soil

Mulch not only helps to control weeds but also helps to build good soil. Mulching around your plants helps to keep the soil cooler, so your plants grow healthier. Incorporating organic matter into the soil can help water and nutrients reach your plants. Using organic mulch and matter also means you can spend less time hoeing and tilling. Consider getting your soil tested so that you know what you need to add to it to keep the pH balanced.

Feed Your Plants

You will need to feed your plants with an organic fertilizer, like that available from Nature Safe. After getting your soil tested, you will know the proper amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that your garden needs to thrive. Nitrogen helps foliage thrive. Phosphorus helps keeps roots strong. Potassium helps your plants to reproduce.

Use these pointers and soon you will have a bountiful harvest. Enjoy eating the food that you have grown organically in your own garden.