5 Essential Landscaping Tools To Keep Nearby When Working In Your Backyard

Maintaining your backyard as a homeowner has many benefits for the home's appeal and personally. A nice backyard boosts the value of your property and provides you with a space to relax and entertain. Landscaping is certainly worth the investment of time and effort, and there are five tools that you should always have by your side: Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, pruning shears, rakes, and wheelbarrows are the most essential gardening tools.

Backyards look different from property to property, and all come with unique demands. A patio with lots of stones and rocks needs a heavy focus on hard landscaping and keeping debris off the surfaces. A grilling and entertainment area needs the shrubs and lawn kept neatly trimmed, and a garden needs equipment to store and move materials like soil and mulch. No matter the backyard style, you need the right tools in your arsenal.

1. Lawn mower

Mowing the lawn, one of the main chores in landscaping, is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about caring for a backyard. An unkempt lawn will affect the rest of the ambience, so the right lawn mower is essential. Invest in a quality product that's bound to last — some of the top brands are RYOBI, Kobalt, and Makita – and familiarize yourself with the manual so you're confident and comfortable as you use it. Avoid the common mistakes everyone makes when buying a lawn mower and get the right size and capacity for your lawn.

A proper mowing routine is also necessary to keep the grass neat and healthy. Prioritize mowing in the spring and summer seasons to stay on top of growth, and refrain from cutting off too much. And as you care for your lawn, care for your machine as well with regular cleaning, oiling, and general servicing.

2. Leaf blower

Leaf blowers are another useful landscaping power tool to keep nearby. They make it much easier and faster to clear debris from your lawn and other outside surfaces. You don't have to spend too much money to get a quality machine, either. Even the cheapest leaf blower from Home Depot can deliver great results. Just make sure you get a leaf blower that is well-suited for your yard size and the intensity of the project you need it for. A handheld leaf blower, for example, will be sufficient if the most you ever have to clean from your patio is a few leaves.

Something lawn mowers and leaf blowers have in common is that they aren't always the best for the environment. Two big issues with gas-powered machines are the emissions and noise they produce when in use, so we recommend going for electric products. They are frequently cleaner, quieter, easier to maintain, and can even save you some cash.

3. Pruning shears

Pruning shears come in handy when you need to shape trees or shrubs or cut off dead parts from plants after they've flowered so they can stay healthy and maintain a pleasant appearance. This tool comes in many shapes, sizes, and styles, and you might need to own a few to meet the various needs of your backyard. Bypass hand pruners are a common type. Their blades look similar to scissors and are useful for small tree branches and rose stems. There are also lopping shears used for bigger, thicker branches and hedge shears for hedges. 

When choosing pruning shears, focus on the blades to make sure they are suitable for the type of branch or material you're cutting through and focus on the length of the handles because they determine how you can maneuver the tool. Comfort is also key. Get pruning shears that you can grip and hold on to easily for long periods of time.

4. Rakes

Rakes are for removing debris from your backyard. They can be used to clear dead leaves from the ground or from your lawn, but also for working your soil and preparing it for new plants. Rakes come in different versions so you can get rakes that are specific to your backyard needs. It's good to use the right rake for the job so you don't mistakenly dig too deep into the ground and stress a rake unnecessarily or put in too much effort because the tool you're using isn't strong enough for the materials you're moving. 

The most standard type is the garden rake which can be used for various purposes. A lawn or leaf rake is best for the fall task of gathering leaves, and a thatch rake is specifically for dethatching, which is usually done in the spring. For a simpler task, like tilling a portion of the ground, you can use a hand rake.

5. Wheelbarrows

Wheelbarrows are also essential when working in your backyard because they help move around heavy loads of soil, mulch, plants, supplies, or other materials. Garden carts are similar to wheelbarrows but are bigger, more stable, easier to use, and come in more modern designs. To choose the perfect wheelbarrow or garden cart, consider the capacity you need. Are you doing some hard landscaping in your backyard and need to move a lot of rocks or cement? Then you need a heavy-duty product. Is it planting season and you need to bring in some mulch, plants, and soil? Then you can't have a mesh wheelbarrow because they will fall right through. 

You should also consider the handle and style of movement. Depending on your physical ability and strength, a two-handle wheelbarrow that pushes forward might be sturdier and easier to balance than a dolly with one handle that needs to be pulled around. Whatever project you may be working on outside the house, these five landscaping tools are bound to make it easier and faster.