Congratulations on your first home purchase! During this exciting time, you are likely to encounter new responsibilities, not least of which will be tending to your home’s yard. This landscape is all yours. With the proper tools, methods, and approaches, your yard has the potential to add beauty and value to your property. The reverse is also true - if your yard suffers from neglect, your property’s curb appeal will likewise decline.
Today, we’re sharing our recommendations for the top ten must-have lawn equipment purchases you’ll make as a new homeowner. Our list is suitable for suburban yards and small rural properties, while homes on large rural plots will require additional purchases, including a riding mower in place of a standard mower.
1.) Ear and Eye Protection
Before you fire up your mower and blower, it’s essential that you purchase high-quality ear protection and eye protection that is well-fitting and easy to see through. Once damaged, your hearing cannot be restored, and your eyes are your body’s most vulnerable point. Never run any of your powered lawn tools without your ear protection, and don eye protective gear before you do yard work of any kind. It may feel like a hassle, but this step will become a habit within a few short months.
2.) Lawn Mower
Because grass grows furiously for more than half of the year, a lawnmower is often the first yard-related purchase a homeowner makes. While there are pros and cons on both sides of the debate regarding gas and electric mowers, one of these is best for all but the very smallest lawns. If you do have a pint-sized plot, you may choose to purchase an old-fashioned push mower. Alternatively, you can skip the mower entirely and opt for the next item on our list in its place.
Pro tip: If your home has gates, make sure to measure the openings and buy a mower that will roll through these spaces easily.
3.) String Trimmer
A string trimmer, also known as a weed-eater or weed-whacker, is one of the most versatile yard-care items on the market. In order to get the most out of your string trimmer, choose one that is well-made and lightweight. In addition to trimming your lawn within several feet of your fences, benches, play equipment, or trampoline, you can put a lightweight trimmer over your shoulder to edge and trim vertically.
A small yard can be mowed with a string trimmer instead of a dedicated lawnmower, which will save on storage space and cash.
4.) Rake or Leaf Blower
Are there deciduous trees around your new home? If you don’t plan to mow over your leaves and leave them as a lawn feeder and protectant, you’ll need a rake or leaf blower. Either approach is fine, but if you’re governed by an HOA, ask whether or not you’ll be required to remove leaves from your yard.
5.) Hand Pruners
These little clippers are useful for bushes, shrubs, and suckers on deciduous trees. Choose a well-made pair with a comfortable grip, then clean and dry them after every use to keep them in great shape for years to come.
For every pruning or clipping job that’s too hefty for your hand pruners, loppers are going to be your go-to. Ergonomics and durability are the key factors for these larger clippers, so don’t skimp; when you’re an hour into your spring and fall trimming, you’ll be glad you chose a top-tier tool.
7.) Push Broom
If you’ve got a patio, sidewalks, or brick walkway to tend to, you’ll want a hefty push broom to keep debris at bay.
There is a myriad of shovel varieties on the market, shaped and sized with specific tasks in mind. To kick off your collection, you’ll want at least a hand trowel and a round-point spade. Choose long handles to protect your back as you work, and don’t waste money on any shovels that aren’t made from tempered steel. When you’re planting, digging, and turning your compost, you’ll want a comfortable grip, so spend a few minutes hefting your options as you shop for the shovels for you.
9.) Garden Hose, Reel, Sprayer, and Sprinkler
Even if your yard has a sprinkler system, we recommend purchasing a hose long enough to reach your fences, a hose reel, a sturdy sprayer with multiple settings, and a sprinkler to water any areas your system might miss. These items aren’t expensive, but you’ll find splurging a little will pay off within the first year of use.
10.) Pre-Emergent and Post-Emergent Herbicides and Fertilizer
Unless you fancy spending hours and hours on your knees pulling weeds, it’s smart to get familiar with both types of herbicides. A bit of preventive maintenance will keep your lawn free from choking weeds, while fertilizer will keep it healthy and looking its best over the years.
Keep in mind that during your first year of homeownership, it may be a fiscally sound choice to hire a lawn service. If your down payment and closing costs have left you a bit short on cash, consider hiring gardeners to come twice per month and keep your yard looking fresh while you gradually build up your own arsenal of lawn equipment. Before too long, you’ll be ready to take over and begin caring for your yard on your own, but by choosing this option, you won’t have to battle months of neglect.
If you’re a new homeowner and you have a homeownership question you’d like us to answer in an upcoming article, please leave a comment below. We love hearing from our readers. We wish you and your new yard a happy spring!