Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

4 basic lawn care tools every homeowner needs

If you’re caring for a lawn on your own for the first time, you’re probably overwhelmed with all of the lawn care tools on the market. It’s a big industry, but have no fear. To start with, you really only need the bare essentials to care for your yard. As you develop more of a green thumb, you’ll be able to confidently grow your collection of lawn maintenance equipment and garden tools. Four basic lawn care tools are essential when starting, and we will review them here.

good lawn maintenance
Petar Tonchev / Unsplash

Lawnmowers

The most common and widely used lawn care tool, a lawnmower, is a must-have to keep your yard looking clean and kept. There are a few different options as far as lawnmowers go. The size of your yard is the biggest factor, but you can also consider the environmental impact of each option and how well you’ll be able to physically manage using each one.

Recommended Videos

Reel mower

These old school tools require no electricity or gas, and they operate simply by pushing them through the grass. They’re actually making a comeback since they don’t pollute, and they encourage more exercise. As the wheels turn, the mower’s blades move in a scissor motion to cut the grass. Maintenance is low for this type of mower, and you simply need to clean it, lubricate it, and sharpen the blades occasionally.

Powered push mower

Powered push mowers are the most popular type of mower since they’re more convenient than reel mowers and less expensive than riding mowers. Many models are self-propelling, so you just need to guide rather than push them. Most push mowers are gas-powered and require a bit of maintenance, so yours will need its oil changed, and some things will need to be replaced occasionally, like spark plugs and filters.

Riding mower

These are the big guns. If you have a huge lawn, you’ll want to invest in a riding lawn mower since mowing a large space by hand even once a week is a big job. A riding lawn mower takes the exertion out of cutting the grass and gets the job done faster. Maintenance for these guys is fairly similar to that of a push mower, and it’s a good idea to keep them covered while they’re stored.

Trimmers

Since there are areas that a lawnmower can’t reach, every homeowner should also own a trimmer. These are hand-held devices, and their nylon string rotates at high speeds to trim down grass. You can trim corners as well as in tight spots around patios, fountains, or gardens. Maintenance is fairly easy, especially if it’s electrically powered. You just need to clean it and replace the nylon string occasionally. For gas-powered trimmers, you’ll need to change the oil and replace spark plugs and filters periodically.

Seed spreader

If you’re serious about having a beautiful lawn, you’ll want a seed spreader. These tools help you quickly and easily distribute grass seeds, pesticides, and fertilizer throughout your lawn for healthy and flourishing grass. They come in push varieties as well as hand-held crank styles. Since pesticides and fertilizer often leave behind residue, hose it down occasionally and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Leaf blower

A leaf blower is a lifesaver in the fall. Having to rake a large yard full of leaves is quite a workout. A basic model will produce a strong blast of air that will allow you to blow all the leaves on the ground into a pile so you can collect and dispose of them. Some models, however, have a vacuum function that allows you to suck up all the leaves and deposit them right into bags.

With all the bells and whistles available in lawn care tools, starting as a new homeowner can be daunting. How do you know which tools you need and which will be excessive for your particular outdoor space? Keeping your yard looking pristine doesn’t actually require an arsenal of fancy, expensive tools. Having just the basics on hand will be a great start to maintaining a beautiful lawn.

Editors' Recommendations

Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
What products to use to keep your driveway and yard safe from ice and salt: A winter guide
Types of deicing products best for your landscaping this winter
Garage and driveway with man shoveling snow

Winter is here, and with it comes snow and ice that can prove a pain to remove from your driveway. It's important to remove it quickly; not only to keep everyone who walks into or out of your home safe, but also because ice can do damage to the driveway over time if it builds up throughout the winter.

Deicing products have been around for a long time, and they do work in varying temperatures to remove harmful ice, but they can wreak havoc on your landscaping. There are several ways to melt ice on driveways that do minimal damage to your yard and the plants surrounding it. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Read more
This low-maintenance, attractive ornamental grass adds instant curb appeal
Blue oat grass is a gorgeous addition to your landscaping
Blue oat grass

If you're looking for something to add to your front or backyard landscaping, look no further than blue oat grass. Ornamental blue oat grass is a perennial that offers gorgeous blue-green colors to any yard. It resembles blue fescue grass, but is just a bit larger (it grows about 18-30 inches tall). The blue and gold hues look stunning against green grass, river rock, and mulch, and the hardy grass is ideal for use in most areas because it grows in the sun, partial sun, and in various substrates like soil, clay, and sand.

Prices range depending on how you plan to plant the grass. If you buy, plan on spending around $15-$25 per plant, depending on the size. If you're buying just the seeds, it can be as cheap as $4 for 100 seeds. Whether you're looking to grow or plant blue oat grass, here are a few things to keep in mind so it stays looking healthy.

Read more
6 kinds of perennials that bloom all summer for a gorgeous garden all season
Hostas, Lily of the valley, Blue lupine and more, these perennials will brighten your garden all summer
Close up of white and pink phlox flowers.

Gardening is a lot of work, but it can be well worth it if you do a little homework before you start digging. If you want your flower beds and garden to bloom for longer than a few weeks, you can't just plant seeds without care and expect month-long results. In fact, many perennial plants, those that you do not need to replant every year, have relatively short flowering seasons, leaving your garden looking a little bare for a good portion of the summer. And after all that work, there is nothing worse than looking at a bare garden.

So how do you get your garden to look gorgeous all summer? We’ve pulled together a list of perennials that will boast beautiful blossoms throughout the entire summer and return year after year with an abundance of color and fragrance. For a more interesting-looking flower bed, be sure to incorporate a variety of heights, a cohesive color scheme, and flowering plants that thrive in varying amounts of sunlight. Check out the recommendations below to build long-lasting floral arrangements you can enjoy for months on end.
Perennials by height
Tall Perennials
Tall perennial plants prevent your garden from looking too uniform and crowded. Be sure to place them in the back or in an area where they won't block other plants.  A few of our favorites include:

Read more