As the weather turns toward Spring, it’s a great time to think about the improvements you’d like to make to your yard and garden, and the tools you’ll need to get those jobs done! Whether you’re aiming to have the best yard on the block, want to install an outdoor family room, create a better space for kids and pets to play, or want to expand your space for entertaining having the right gear to get the job done makes the process so much easier.
“Completing big outdoor jobs is always easier with help from outdoor power equipment,” said Kris Kiser, President, and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). “The right outdoor power equipment can help you get the work done faster, and can help you safely maintain your yard.”
Here are some tips to help you make smart choices for Spring lawn and garden gear:
Planning Makes Perfect
Draw a sketch of your yard. Include any major features like trees, bushes, an herb or vegetable garden, flower beds, lawn furniture, play or sports equipment, an outdoor patio, or bird bath. Note where maintenance may be required. Will bushes need to be trimmed back from your home or garage? Do you want to put in some flowering bushes or a tree? Are you planning to install a fence and more grass because of your pet? Having a plan makes it easy to move things around on paper, before committing to any part of the project. If you’re unsure how structures like decks, patios, walks or garden beds will look on your property, one simple trick is to lay out the shape on the ground using a rope. Standing back and viewing a very visual outline of how your new space might look can help assure the new shape is just what you expected.
Consider Equipment Needed
Next, list the tools and equipment needed to get backyard ready and what will make the job easier. Visit your garage or shed and find those forgotten lawn and garden tools. Wheel out your mower and get out other equipment. Look it over and make a list of what is needed or could be upgraded.
Repair anything that needs attention or identify machines that should be upgraded or replaced. For example, if you have a large vegetable garden, you need a cultivator or tiller. If you have a large lawn, an upgrade to a riding lawn mower might make mowing easier. A string trimmer might make caring for bushes or trimming grass near a fence line easier. A pole pruner can help trim back limbs that are too high to reach safely with a saw, and a leaf blower can clear leaves faster than a rake.
Think about efficiencies of scale. The right equipment can mean more time for other activities, and make doing yard work more enjoyable, too. Doing online research in advance will help you pick the right equipment for the job. Outdoor power equipment can be gas, electric or battery powered, and technology is rapidly impacting product design. There are even robotic lawn mowers available today. Equipment may be sized to handle a smaller job or a massive one. Ultimately, your decision should be based on your needs.
Before You Buy
Talk with staff experts at the store or online about the equipment and ask questions. Discuss safety features and ask about manufacturer fueling and care instructions. Find out how often equipment may need to be serviced and consider the product warranty.
Consider the space you have ot store new equipment both during and after the growing season. Equipment should be stored in a in a cool and dry place, and will need to be serviced typically at the end of the fall and the beginning of the spring.
For more tips, safety information and an overview of outdoor power equipment manufacturers, visit the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.