Tools for a Beautiful Lawn

Nothing equals grass as a soft place for children to play and as a rich green backdrop to showcase landscape plantings. But that beautiful surface is greedy for water, fertilizer, your time, and energy. Choose the right helpers to keep a lush lawn.
General Shopping Tips

When choosing tools for mowing, edging, repairing, aerating, and topdressing, durability is an important factor, as are ease of maintenance, convenience, and safety features. And select the right type of equipment for the size of your lawn:

  • Homeowners with small lawns -- under 4,000 square feet -- can accomplish most of these maintenance jobs with a small assortment of hand tools. If you prefer the quiet and enjoy the exercise, hand tools also will save money. A manual mower, broadcast seeder, edger, and aerating tool work just fine. Use a lawn rake to spread organic material for topdressing in the fall or spring, and use hand grass clippers to clean up weedy patches along walls and fences.
  • Medium lawns -- 4,000 to 10,000 square feet -- are generally too extensive for hand tools. A powered rotary mulching mower is faster, and a self-propelled version is easier. Fall mowings with this type of mower also provide your lawn with an organic topdressing -- chopped leaves -- if you have deciduous trees on your property.
  • Large lawns -- over 10,000 square feet -- require even more sophisticated equipment. A large powered rotary mulching mower can do the job, but a riding mower may be more appropriate. The powered core-aerator, edger, and weed trimmer are essential.

Continued on page 2:  Spreaders