Essential Tools for Easy Lawn and Garden Maintenance

Whether you have a big or small lawn, a garden area or a wide array of shrubs and flowers, there are essential tools that you need that will allow you to keep the area looking its best. Here are some essential tools you should have on hand:

Rake

A rake is a basic tool that just about anyone with any yard area around their home will have on hand. It is especially critical if you live in an area where trees and bushes flower or shed their leaves. In the Fall, your rake is likely to get a big workout, so make sure you keep it clean and maintained.

Mower

If you have any amount of lawn or grass around your home, having a mower is important for keeping that area trimmed and beautiful looking. There are mowers available in many sizes, and for many types of lawn and ground. If you have a small amount of lawn around your home, then a small mower that is just for lawns would work fine. If you plan on mowing an area that has a lot of weeds or is on uneven ground, then you might go for a mower that is more powerful and has larger wheels for better traction and stability.

Trimmer

Another essential tool is the trimmer, also called “weedeaters.” A trimmer is an upright tool that you carry around instead of push around. A trimmer will allow you to get into areas that a mower simply can’t get to. A trimmer is also great if you have a lot of tall weeds or need to trim tall shrubbery or fauna for fire protection purposes. A trimmer will also be essential if you have a slope on your land which makes it impossible to use a mower safely.

Pruner

A pruner is a hand tool that you can carry around to cut bushes, flowers or anything else in your garden. You can also use a pruner to pick fruit from your fruit trees, including cherries, plums, apricots, figs, lemons, oranges and just about anything else. Pruners are an essential tool for any garden and for even the smallest yards.

Hose Sprinkler

If you have a home, you surely have water spigots around your home. You can attach a hose with a sprinkler to any spigot and walk around with it to water any of your lawn, plants or trees that need watering. You can also use your hose to wash off your sidewalk, paths, outdoor furniture or even wash your car. A hose sprinkler is a handy tool for many things.

Hedge Trimmers

There are many types of hedge trimmers, including manual style and electric trimmers. The best type for your use really depends on what type of hedge you have. If you don’t have a hedge, you don’t need this tool. If you have a tall or long hedge more than a few feet long or tall, then consider investing in an electric hedger, it will make your hedge look great with little work. If you have just a few bushes or a small hedge, then a manual trimming tool would work fine.

Shovels

Lastly, you never want to forget the shovel. You should have a large one and a small one. A shovel will have many purposes in your yard, from digging new holes for planting to turning over garden soil. No homeowner should be without a shovel.

What Is Flower Garden Maintenance?

The basic needs for a healthy flower garden are simple – well-prepared soil, careful sowing and planting at the right time, warmth, food and moisture; attention to pest and weed control.

Undisturbed weeds will compete with your garden plants for food and moisture and can be, a source of diseases and pests. For fruit, flowers, vegetables and shrubs, all of them can be, controlled with chemical and cultivation measures.

Chemical methods use weed killer on paths or drives. Aminotriazole or simazine are suitable materials when used to the manufacturer’s guidelines, and, are very affective in most conditions. Cultivation is the most convenient method to use in most gardens. Use a hoe regularly in the summer to chop off the seeding weeds before they have a chance, to develop and take over. Start this job in the morning or as early in the day as you can. In the winter months dig the weeds into the soil. Large weeds are best dug out completely or cut off and pulled out.

Stopping and dis-budding Stopping means removing the growing point after four or six leaves have formed. (The first two leaves which form do not count.) This causes the plant to make shoots and to bear more blooms in a bushy way, rather, than a tall slim form. Sweet-peas, dahlias, antirrhinums, fuchsias and geraniums respond very well to this procedure. Some varieties produce more shoots than can be, supported and bloom to perfection, but by judicious thinning better quality, earlier flowers can be, produced to beautify the flower garden.

Tips For Water Garden Maintenance

If there was one thing that could enhance the look of a property’s exterior, it would be the presence of a water garden. Water gardens can be designed in a multitude of fashions. In pond is not enough. It must be properly maintained. For some, this may seem like a ponderous (pardon the pun) task. But it really isn’t. While water garden maintenance does require effort, it is not overly complicated.

So, let’s look at a few common steps for proper water garden maintenance.

Reducing the presence of algae is critical. As far as ecosystems go, algae are quite helpful. However, algae can seriously detract from the look of a pond when they become overpopulated. So, reducing the presence of algae is of paramount importance. One way to go about this involves using algaecides. Unfortunately, some algaecides can be dangerous to fish and only offer a short term solution. This is why it may be best to utilize ultraviolet sterilizers ( for green water algae) and/or proper filtration to help remove the nutrients that algae feed on and create a balanced ecosystem that is not conducive to their growth.

Be prudent when populating a water garden with aquatic life. If it is overloaded with fish and other wildlife, the look can be hampered. Also, the higher the volume of aquatic life in a water garden, the more algae will grow due to organic waste created by them. So, maintaining prudent levels of fish and other animals will have the ancillary effect of reducing algae and keeping the water clear and healthy.

Maintaining proper water levels is also paramount. Proper water levels are needed in order for the water pump(s) to work properly. If there is not enough water in the pond, the pump cannot properly oxygenate the water garden. This is a critical point because low oxygen levels will cause fatalities in the fish.

Removing any obstructions to sunshine will maintain the health of the water garden’s plants. If the plants die from lack of sunshine, the water garden becomes little more than a tub of water. This is why it is of significant importance that plants receive adequate sunshine. To maintain plant life, four to six hours of sunshine is needed for most plants. Any obstructions in the way of the sun’s rays must be removed. This includes trimming tree branches, bushes, etc. Again, this is where filtration and nutrient control becomes important, because while the “good” plants need light to grow, so does algae. However a healthy population of “good” plants with good filtration will help with algae control, even in direct sunlight.

Make sure filters are maintained properly and replaced when necessary. Dirty water does not do a water garden good. That is why installing a proper filter is a must. Of course, one needs to keep a watchful eye on the filter(s) to make sure it/they operate properly. If not, then the filter must be replaced as soon as possible. Pond filters will remove organic debris and in some cases chemical pollutants such as ammonia and nitrite, which can be toxic to fish.

Add treatments when needed. The various items that comprise water garden treatments are vast. When the need arises for adding specific treatments (chlorine removers, colorants, foam removers, beneficial bacteria, etc) then they must be added. It will keep your water garden healthy.

Of course, there are many other ways to keep a water garden in great shape. Really, there is no limit to proper maintenance and the tips provided herein will keep you on the right track.