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Best Tools For Summer Landscaping – Part One (Man Powered)

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Good news, denizens of Stouffville. For those of us who have taken a second to look out our windows, we can see that winter has come to an end. The slushy, wet walkways of yesterday have been replaced by the clear walkways of today, straddled on both sides by a brilliant green. Gone are the grey murky skies and colours of January, only to be replaced by the gorgeous blues of June. Yes, not only have we skipped past winter, we also blew through spring as well. Perhaps it’s because we’re all collectively getting older, but spring seemed not to last as long as days before. It doesn’t matter however, because the sooner we get into summer the better!

But with summer comes a whole new list of responsibilities. Yes, considering the laid back nature of the season, we can be tempted to shirk those aforementioned responsibilities in exchange for some good times. However, if the average landscaper, homeowner or gardener wants to maintain the summer beauty that lays mere feet from their backdoors, they are going to have to do some work sometime. 

It’s not that it’s hard work, most of the time it’s maintenance. It can be tedious sure, but it is a small price to pay to keep up that beauty we were speaking of mere sentences ago. However, there are certain jobs that can be made a lot easier with the inclusion of certain tools. Tools that will not just make the job easier, but make the job go by a lot quicker.

The old adage says: “it’s a poor workman who blames his tools”. However, some tools can make a job a lot easier, and the lack of those tools can make them a lot more tedious. So in this case, we are going to blame the tools. We’re also going to teach the dear readers of this article which tools are the best to use during summer landscaping. So, without further ado, here are the best tools for summer landscaping. These, of course, are just the man powered tools, and the rest will be covered in a future article. 

The Shovel

Yes, it is a simple tool, one that has existed since the neolithic age. And it is a tool that has stuck around for so long for a reason – it’s used for so many things when it comes to landscaping. Digging, of course, when it comes to digging out garden beds, digging post holes or just straight up digging a hole then the shovel is the master. However, the shovel is used for a lot of other things one may not have originally thought of when they made the shovel purchase. For instance, should one have say a yard of material that needs transported from the front of a property to the back, the shovel can be used to put that material into a wheelbarrow. Yes, the shovel is a versatile and an integral tool to any landscaper’s arsenal.

But what kind of shovel should one buy? While wooden handled shovels are a mainstay of the landscapers repertoire, one should probably go with one that has a fibreglass or steel handle. These tend to be a lot sturdier than their wooden counterparts, and considering the amount that the average homeowner, landscaper or gardener uses the shovel, one would want it to have a very sturdy handle. As for the shovel’s blade itself, stainless steel is probably the best option. Stainless steel is lightweight and strong, so it will cut through pretty much anything. Wether it be dirt, grass or god forbid roots, the stainless steel shovel head will get the job done.

Rakes

Rakes? As in multiple? Why would the average landscaper, homeowner or gardener need more than one rake? Well, the answer is that these aforementioned groups are going to need different rakes for different situations. 

One is going to need a steel rake for the tough jobs. Steel rakes are good to use when one needs to spread around things like gravel or mulch. The steel rake does the tough jobs that the other rake cannot accomplish.

That other rake is the leaf rake and it is the rake intended for what we think of when we think of rake jobs. It does what the name implies – it rakes leaves. What’s the difference? The leaf rake tends to be a lot lighter than the steel rake, and won’t tire out any landscaper, homeowner or gardener when they use it for long periods of time.

As for what these rakes should be made of, wooden handles will work alright for these. As the average homeowner, landscaper or gardener isn’t using the rake as much as say, the shovel, they can get away with having a lighter weight handle. 

Wheelbarrow

We mentioned this tool when we were talking about the shovel, but it is indeed an integral tool for the average homeowner, landscaper or gardener. They are obviously used for transporting material from one place to another, and they are integral for this task. Otherwise, how is one going to get material from one place to another? With their hands? It’s possible, but will take a whole lot longer.

So what should one look for when they are buying a wheelbarrow? Most of them are made pretty sturdy, whether their internal parts are made of metal or wood. However, we would recommend going with something metal, as it is always sturdier than wood. Also, always keep the tire on a wheelbarrow pumped. There is nothing worse than working with a wheelbarrow that has a flat tire.

So what did we learn today? We learned about the shovel, a tool that has existed for almost as long as man for its many uses. We learned about the different types of rakes and what we can use them for. And finally, we learned about the wheelbarrow, and how it is used in the gardening or landscaping process.

Keep in mind these are the bare bones tools that every landscaper, homeowner or gardener should own. There are many more job specific tools that one should own, but those depend on the type of backyard one has. All in all, with these tools the summer should go smoothly. Or at least the summer chores should be a lot easier.