There is no better way to spend the summer than by going outside and giving your landscape a little tender, love, and care! There are plenty of great reasons to landscape – you get to spend time in the fresh air and sunlight, you can plant food to sustain yourself and your family, and best of all, you get to work with and care for your land. In doing so, you’ll be tending to the health of your trees, plants, shrubs, gardens, flower beds, and – best of all – yourself!
Tools are our bread and butter, and we feel passionately that hand tools are better for your wallet, the environment, and your body. Hand tools require less maintenance, replacement parts, and gas and oil (literally none!) which could save you hundreds of dollars in a single year. Plus, by not using gas and oil, you won’t be emitting harmful toxins into the air, and there is no chance that you might accidentally spill either into your dirt or soil, effectively ruining their biological properties. And to top it all off, using hand tools provides an easy, full-body workout at no extra cost or hassle to you!
If your tools chipped, splintered, or flat-out broke last growing season, or if you’re in the market for some new gardening equipment, here are the top 6 essential tools that we think you’ll need this summer:
The summer weather brings plenty of wind, so make sure that you have a tool to collect everything that’s bound to blow around your backyard. A lawn rake will be helpful this time of year for collecting any fallen leaves, sticks, and other debris that riddle your lawn. Rakes have tines and work essentially like outdoor brooms to scrape across your grass or soil and collect any out-of-place debris they can.
Rakes also make spreading large materials like mulch and gravel fast and easy. There are many varieties of rakes, and even some for more specific purposes like thatching or leveling, but overall a basic lawn/leaf rake will serve you well this growing season.
If you need a rake for a project that’s a little more labor-intensive, invest in a solid bow rake. Unlike typical lawn and garden rakes, bow rakes are constructed out strong steel to form strong tines with indented teeth to latch onto materials with ease, while the opposite side is flat for leveling a surface. Those materials include mulch, stone, gravel, asphalt, and dirt, using either the tines or the level side. The rake head is robotically welded to two bowed pieces of metal that connect to the handle, making it incredibly strong with the perfect amount of flex as you rake, giving the tool a much-needed spring as it moves through material.
Bow rakes are great tools for heavy-duty projects and are a staple among landscaping and contracting businesses. Its design and purpose are very different from that of a lawn rake, and if your summer plans include moving material tougher than grass, consider buying a bow rake.
ROUND POINT SHOVEL
We don’t know about you, but not a season goes by where we don’t need to use a shovel. Investing in a good, high-quality shovel (or two!) will aid you through your year-round projects, but they are especially helpful during planting and summer project season!
If you plan to do a lot of digging and lifting, use a round point shovel. Its round, sharp blade is designed to pierce the ground and cut through soil and small roots. Its shovel head is spacious enough to dig up old, dead plants or live ones that need transplanting. This shovel is the ultimate tool for all of your digging and planting needs and is commonly found on professional construction sites. It’s heavy-duty, versatile, and a definite must-have for summer.
As far as moving materials go, opt for a scoop shovel instead of a round point. Scoop shovels are typically made of high-quality plastic and are not meant for digging. They have shovel heads much larger than those made for digging which makes carrying mulch, grain, stone, snow, leaves, or yard clippings a breeze.
If you’ve tried to move material with a round point shovel, you know how easily the loose pieces can slip off the side simply because it’s not the right tool for large transferring. Scoop shovels have tall sides that keep your material contained, but they’re constructed with plastic smooth enough that when you’re ready to dump, you can dump with ease.
No landscape is complete without a little extra curb appeal; straighten up the edges of your lawn or garden with a lawn edger. For this, you can opt for either an edging shovel or an edger.
An edger is a variation of an edging shovel, but rather than having a half-moon-shaped shovel head attached to a handle, edgers typically have different shaped blades attached to a T-style handle. Both, though, produce a clean edge in your soil or grass and are tools worth considering if you want a sharp-looking lawn this year.
If you are looking to up your gardening game, consider investing in a broadfork. A broadfork is a multipurpose tool ideal for turning, tilling, lifting, and aerating soil. It’s an environmentally friendly alternative to a rototiller that requires less maintenance and less money! The beauty of this product is that instead of bending over and lifting, as you do with traditional shovels or pitchforks, the broadfork is designed to use your body weight, not your muscles – giving you a great full-body workout without hurting your back. To learn more about this remarkably easy-to-use and seriously underrated lawn and garden tool, read our blogpost.
Overall, any of these tools would make a great addition to your existing array of lawn equipment. Every tool listed can easily be found in a hardware store or online, but if you’re looking for the best tools your money can buy, look no further than our selection at 100% Made in the USA Bully Tools. We produce contractor-quality tools at a consumer price made wholly from materials sourced and forged in the United States, and our commitment to building all-American tools is just as strong as our commitment to providing exceptional quality to all of our customers.