Sunday, December 2, 2007

The right equipment for you lawn maintenance

Investing in the right equipment is the easiest way for the busy gardener to reduce the time spent on lawn care. Mowing is the most time-consuming task, so make sure you choose a mower that suits the type and size of your lawn.


Ride-on
The time-saver's choice for a very large garden. Ride-on mowers have an extra-wide cutting width and move faster than you can walk with a powered mower. They are not suitable for fine lawns.

Hover
A good solution for small or fiddly lawns and banks. The mower can be moved sideways as well as back and forth and the blades glide over the lawn edges, speeding up mowing around beds and borders.

Rotary
A large area of unobstructed grass suits the rotary mower best. Rotary mowers are ideal for longer grass, but their wheels make it difficult to get right up to lawn edges. Petrol models are the most powerful.

Cylinder
Necessary only if you want a top-quality lawn. It is the only mower to make well-defined stripes in grass. It needs a level surface and dry grass. Small electric and large petrol versions are sold.

Hand-pushed mower
Light and maneuverable, so worth considering for a small lawn that is mowed regularly. It will not tackle long or wet grass and the wheels make it difficult to mow right up to the edges.

Fertilizer spreader
Ideal for scattering fertilizer evenly over a lawn, but do check that it is adjusted for the rate of application you want. Some spreaders can be adjusted to spread lawn seed.

Spiker
A spiker aerates and improves surface drainage of a compacted lawn by removing cores of soil from the turf. This is time-consuming, so for large areas hire or buy a powered version.

Lawn de-thatcher
These professional machines are only just becoming available at equipment hire companies. They scarify or remove spongy thatch from lawns. A lawn-care contractor can also do the job for you.


Edging made easy

Neat lawn edges improve the look of your lawn; and if you use a half-moon edging tool to create sharp edges they will be easy to trim.

Powered edger
A powered edger is the most efficient way of keeping edges neat. But you need a firm, horizontal surface at the edge of your lawn over which to guide the trimmer.

Line trimmer
This can save you hours of tidying tufts of grass growing against walls or around patios. Do not use around trees or shrubs because it can damage trunks and stems. Choose a model with an automatic line feed so you don't have to keep stopping to adjust the length of the nylon line.

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