Understanding Basic Lawn Care Equipment

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Almost every home owner engages in at least some degree of landscaping.  Landscaping is one of the best ways of improving the look and value of your property.  Landscaping can include anything from basic lawn installation to massive gardens and everything in between.

Even if you plan on using a landscape designer to help design you lawn and garden, a certified landscaper to install it and a landscape maintenance service to handle the upkeep, chances are you will still have at least some degree of involvement in the care of your landscape investment.  No matter what level of involvement you plan to have, it is important to understand some basic lawn care terms.  Familiarizing yourself with these terms now will save you some confusion further down the line.


Rakes are fan shaped tines of metal or plastic held at the end of a long handle.  Rakes are an inexpensive means of collecting up leaves, clippings and other debris into convenient piles.  These piles can then be gathered into garbage bags for disposal or burned.


Blowers are electric or gasoline powered devices that compress and eject air forcefully down a long tube.  These devices are used to blow leaves and other debris off of walkways, patios or other surfaces.  Some blowers are reversible and can also function as a high-powered vacuum, allowing leaves and clippings to be collected in a bag for use as mulch.

String Trimmers

String trimmers are a very basic and very common means of clearing away high grass around an edifice or other obstruction where mowers cannot reach.  A string trimmer cuts grass by means of a thin cable the is spun by a central head.  As the cord is sheared away by use, the user can release more of the cable to facilitated continued trimming.  String trimmers may be powered either an electric or gasoline powered motor.


Similar to string trimmers, and edger is used to cut and trim where larger maintenance devices cannot reach.  Powered edgers make use of a vertical cutting head and metal blades, whereas the smaller hand-powered edgers use a scythe-like half circle blade.  Edgers are most useful in maintaining rapidly spreading grasses that threaten to take over walkways.


Sprayers are used primarily for the application of weed killers and pesticides.  The most common type of sprayer is the backpack variety that allows the user to carry the cylinder(s) of pesticide and pump the contents through a wand via a hand pump.  There are pull along sprayer types, as well.

Spreader Boxes

Spreader boxes are used for the easy and controlled application of seed, fertilizer or pesticide.  Spreader boxes are essentially wheeled hoppers.  As the user pushes the spreader and even disbursement of seed, fertilizer or pesticide is left in the wake of the device.


Aerators can come in a number of forms.  Small hand-held aerators, which look like small three-tined claws are commonly used for aerating the soil of small garden beds.  Larger motorized aerators are used to break up and aerate the soil of larger areas.