Power Equipment 101

By National Gardening Association Editors

Whatever the lawn and garden task, turn the job into fun. For the lawn, there is a new breed of mulching mowers that recirculate grass clippings, chop them up, and send them back down into the grass to decompose and return nitrogen to the soil.

A completely new product vacuums leaves and small sticks from the lawn, and chips and shreds them for compost or mulch.

For the garden, cultivators and tillers range in size from small, lightweight tools that are used like a hoe, such as shown in the picture, to the big sodbusting rear-tined tillers used to create new gardens and cultivate large ones.

Now that yard wastes are unwelcome in landfills, there is a boom in chipper/shredders used for cleaning up the property. The largest of these models will turn branches up to two inches in diameter into wood chips to be used as mulch.

Another clean-up tool is the power blower. It clears walks, driveways, and patios of grass clippings, leaves, and other debris.

Power trimmers not only clean up around the edges of the lawn, but some can also be adapted for clearing brush.

For the large property and the wood-burning home, chain saws are available in a wide range of sizes to suit the task. Power sprayers are available for the home orchard.

The large property owner now has a choice of small tractors that not only mow grass, but move snow and dirt, vacuum up lawn debris, pull trailers, and perform other jobs that turn work into fun.

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