Your lawn care toolkit – what’s in YOURS?
“It’s not what you use, it’s how you use it.” I think there’s a lot of truth in this in lawn care as much as anything, and for me it stems from my professional golf days.
Picture me, a spindly youth in drab everyday clothes with a humble set of clubs (one of only two sets I ever owned), being sneered at by the club member in his Pringle jumper, plus-fours and a bag a clubs I’d have needed a mortgage for. Then I walk up to the ball with ease and crunch it some 250 yards down the fairway with a swing like Seve’s. And Mr Cliché-Golfer, using what can only be described as a lumberjack’s swing, sends his ball deep into the rough.
My point is that…
You can have all the tools you want, but if you don’t use them correctly, they’re pointless!
We live in the ‘age of convenience’ and many modern tools reflect this. But key to using your tools properly is knowledge - an understanding of what your lawn is made up of, what needs to be done to it and when. You see, far too many think they know about lawn care, but with for a little more attention to detail and understanding they could achieve a whole lot more.
My book for example, recently shortlisted for a Garden Media Guild award (no mean feat in the world of flowers!) is a great starting point. In it you’ll learn what the lawn is made up from in a way that makes it far easier to understand what you’re dealing with. Then you can enjoy easier, modern techniques that will give you better results for less work - something every lawn keeper wants!
A good mower is essential – but which one to choose? I always think there are a few makes that top the league. However, as a general rule of thumb it’s a bit like choosing a car; they all do the same basic thing – moving forwards and backwards while cutting the grass (and if you keep your blade sharp, cutting it well) - the differences are just small things at the end of the day.
Scarifiers and aerators are essential pieces of equipment, but if you can’t afford to buy your own, you can easily hire them – or why not share ownership with a neighbour or two?
Feeders – if you’re going to do the feeding yourself – are useful; and a disc spinner is a great tool, removing the guesswork and reducing the waste. Just don’t use combination products with a disc spinner as this can play havoc with your flower beds!
Hand-tools - yes, there are many small tools and implements than can help you, such as edging shears etc; but as with any tool, if you don’t know how to use it – or even why you’re using it - they’re pretty much useless.
So, before you rush off to spend that windfall on a fleet of ride-on lawn machines, buy the most important tool of them all – a good lawn book. Did I mention my book…..