Most properties have a backyard, and regardless of what’s in the yard—a lawn, a garden, or even just bare soil—it still requires frequent maintenance to remain neat and presentable. From weeds to seasonal regulars such as leaves and snow, keeping a backyard clean involves consistent effort. You can make maintenance as smooth and easy as possible with the help of simple but high-quality tools. Here are five essentials that belong in every yard-owner’s shed:
Rakes have been around for centuries, and they’re still popular today—that’s because they’re a staple for keeping the backyard clean! A rake typically consists of a long handle with tines at the end. The most well-known type is the versatile leaf rake, which helps you collect fallen leaves, debris, and even soggy material so you can easily remove them from the yard. There are also bow rakes for smoothing out soil and hand rakes for moving soil around in small spaces, usually for gardening. A good rake can last for as long as a lifetime, so choose rakes with hardwood handles and metal tines for durability.
If you have trees, shrubs, bushes, or even grass inside the property, then you need to have shears around. Shears are meant for cutting overgrown stems and branches. They’re small and lightweight, though, so they’re best for branches with a diameter of around ¾ inch—any longer, and the blades might snap. Bypass pruners are the most commonly bought by yard owners. Similar to scissors except with curved blades, these give a very clean cut, making them ideal for flowers and live plants. On the other hand, anvil pruners achieve the opposite effect. Equipped with a sharp upper blade mincing against a flat lower blade, these have a crushing effect that’s better reserved for dead branches.
Inevitably, you have to deal with leaves piling up on your yard, and you might have experienced spending hours or even a whole weekend removing them painstakingly. Here’s a nifty shortcut: use a leaf blower instead. You can simply go around your yard holding the leaf blower as it efficiently blows the leaves into piles. It’s not just leaves, either—leaf blowers can be used to sweep your yard free from debris and even clear snow. For a lightweight option, you can look into battery-powered leaf blowers, but there are also gas and corded models for greater power. A leaf blower is quite noisy, so check with your town first if you have to follow certain rules.
Rubbish somehow naturally appears in yards, taking on the form of organic material such as fallen branches or weeds. To get rid of these without leaving your yard, a chipper shredder will do the trick. How it works is you pour in the organic material at the top of the chipper shredder, and then the machine will work to break this down into smaller chunks. For convenience’s sake, some chipper shredders also have a built-in container to receive the chunks in one place. The type of material you can put in depends on the strength of the chipper shredder. With a chipper shredder, rubbish is turned into compost, chippings, or mulch that can be added to the soil.
The soil in your yard can become compact because of rain or repeated pressure from people walking. Cultivators counteract this by loosening a few inches of soil at a time while clearing away weeds. This is important because compacted soil isn’t fertile. You can’t plant anything there or even mix compost into the soil unless it’s loosened up first to receive nutrients and air. You can think of cultivators as a milder version of tillers, which are for breaking up extremely hard soil. Cultivators have several rotating blades that sink into the soil, and models vary mainly in the design of the blades.
The best tools are high-quality, durable, and convenient to use. With these five machines around, you can keep your backyard in tip-top shape anytime!