Lawn Care 101 Part II: Basic Tools

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The rewards of having a brilliant, thriving, plush lawn are many. More than just increasing your home's value and visual appeal, your lawn can be a focal point for family activity. From barbeques to badminton to games of touch football with the kids, a great lawn can be a source of joy and satisfaction for the lifetime of your home.

If you want the perfect green, luxurious, well-kept lawn, then you probably know that you have your work cut out for you. Just as with anything else, it is essential to learn the basics before you dive in to the finer points of lawn maintenance. Having a good understanding to the "tools of the trade" will prepare you for the task of creating the beautiful lawn that you have always dreamed of.


Rakes are one of the most basic tools for lawn care. Rakes can be made of either plastic or metal and wood. In either case, their basic design is the same: a long handle terminating in a fan-shaped array of tines (like a very broad fork). Rakes are used to collect leaves and other debris into piles for convenient collection or burning (if legally permitted in your area).

Leaf Blowers

Leaf blowers are the technological big-brother of the rake. Leaf blowers can be electric, but are most often gasoline powered. They compress and blow air through a long tube which can be directed to blow leaves and other debris from pathways, patios, sidewalks and other such surfaces. Many leaf blowers feature bag attachment and allow for the direction of airflow to be reversed. In this way, they function as vacuums for the collection of leaves to be used in mulch.

Weed Eaters

Weed eaters, often referred to as string trimmers, are used for trimming grass around the sides of homes, around power and phone poles, around stationary landscaping installations and any other area where a lawn mower cannot reach. This trimmers can be either electric or gas powered. They feature a motorized rotor on the end of a long handle. The rotor spins a string at a high velocity. The string breaks away during use and can be continuously feed out further by the operator.

Backpack Sprayers

Chemical backpack sprayers are used to spray pesticides and weed killers on a lawn. The backpack sprayer consists of a large drum that can be filled with chemicals and is strapped to the users back. From the container chemicals can be pumped through a wand, usually by means of a hand pump on the side of the container which forces air into the chamber, increasing the pressure and forcing the liquid pesticide through the wand. The wand allows for precise application of the pesticide, rather than blanketing an entire area.

Spreader Boxes

Spreader boxes can also be used for dispersal of pesticides over a wide area. They are also used to distribute seed or fertilizer. Spreader boxes are large boxes mounted on wheels. Generally the boxes narrow toward a slotted opening in the bottom, rather like a large funnel. The seed, pesticide or fertilizer is then dropped along the path of the spreader box as it is pushed or pulled along.