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For some folk it’s not a colourful flower border or thriving veg patch that is the mark of gardening excellence, but a pristine lawn: a flat stretch of grass with year round lush green colour, precision edges and not the merest hint of a daisy in sight.
To achieve lawn perfection can take a lot of time and effort, but grassy greatness isn’t impossible for those with less time and a few choice accessories to help them out.
The good news is that once you’ve invested in a good quality lawnmower and / or strimmer you can get the rest of the items on a budget, although spending a little more can often significantly increase the performance of many garden tools.
To give you an idea of what you might need we’ve put together a list of lawn tools to consider, along with a few things that will help keep the grass in top condition, picking out a star purchase for each category. Soon you’ll be mowing, trimming, raking and feeding your way to grass glory.
What you need at a glance:
- A cheap, reliable mower: Bosch Rotak 32-12 Corded Rotary Mower, 1200W
- Or a cheap, reliable cordless mower: Bosch Rotak 34 Cordless Mower
- A strimmer for parts your mower can’t reach: Stihl FSA 45 Cordless Grass Trimmer
- A quick -growing, effective grass seed: The Grass People Superstar Grass Seed
- A rake for clearing moss and cuttings: Wilkinson Sword Lawn Rake
- An edging tool for perfectly neat edges: Spear and Jackson Elements Edging knife
- A sprinkler to keep your lawn ideally watered: Hozelock Round Sprinkler Pro 314m
- Edging shears to cut lawn adjacent to plants: Bahco Edging Shears
- A bulb planter for a splash of colour: Fiskars Ergo Bulb Planter
- Great lawn feed: So & Mo subscription service liquid lawn feed
It’s well worth taking the time to consider what lawnmower will best suit your garden, as the range is vast and the wrong mower can set you back a lot of cash.
If, however, the thought of research is too off-putting, and you have an average sized, uncomplicated lawn to mow, then this 1200W rotary mower from Bosch is a good, cheap option.
It’s an electric mower, with 10m power cable, and has a safety switch that needs to be pressed along with the trigger to get it running.
The rotating blade cuts 32cm wide and can be raised or lowered to a cut height of between 20cm and 60cm. It also comes with an attached grass box, which we found very effective at collecting most of our clippings.
The 1200W power is plenty for simple, flat, small to medium lawns, and it’s lightweight and comfortable to use, so the mowing won’t overly tire you out.
If you want a cordless option, the same model but sans strings is avaliable for £100, the Bosch Rotak 34 R Electric Lawnmower
When the mowing gets tough, the tough get strimming. If your lawn has slopes, bumps, or is strewn with permanent obstacles, then there are likely to be lots of areas that are inaccessible to a mower.
Stihl produces heavy duty strimmers that can be operated over large areas of grass, but for lighter tasks the FSA 45 adequately does the job.
With an adjustable loop handle and lightweight design (just 2.3kg) it’s comfortable and portable, allowing you to quickly whizz around lawn edges without breaking sweat.
The mowing unit can be fitted with PolyCut blades or mowing lines and you can adjust the angle for vertical trimming (handy for edging work).
The built in battery takes 210 minutes to fully charge (or 145 minutes for an 80% charge) and will give you around 20 minutes strimming time, which is more than enough for most medium sized gardens.
Whether you want to sow a lawn from scratch, or simply have a few scruffy patches to fill, then you’ll need some grass seed.
And those of you who thought ‘any grass seed will do’ will probably be surprised to discover there’s a whole range of seeds for various lawn types to choose from.
The Grass People cater for most lawns, with seeds suitable for shady gardens, sandy soil, or the wear and tear meted out by kids and dogs.
If you don’t want to think too hard about what type is best for you then their Superstar: Back Lawn seed covers most bases – it’s quick to germinate and grow, with a blend of grass types (grass spotters can tick off ‘perennial ryegrass’ and ‘strong creeping red fescue’) that is both hard wearing and delivers dense green colour.
Lawn rakes differ from their soil spreading cousins in that they have multiple, thin tines that are usually arranged in a fan shape.
These tines not only gather up cut grass but they’re also adept at tugging moss from your lawn – providing you own one that can cope with the extra effort this task requires.
Wilkinson Sword’s lawn rake is a lengthy 170cm with the tines spreading out to a width of 45cm, which will allow you to rake up and carry large piles of grass with ease besides dealing with that unwanted moss.
Attached to the wooden handle is a stainless steel head that’s waterproof and rust resistant, with long, strong and flexible tines that will help make the rake’s progress across the lawn a swift one.
If you want to cut neat edges to your lawn then you’ll need some sort of specialist edging tool (spades can be a bit clumsy), such as this edging knife from Spear and Jackson.
The half moon blade, made from hardened carbon steel, makes a clean and straight cut into the edge of your lawn when you apply downward pressure with your boot.
It’s a durable tool, with a solid ash shaft and a soft grip T bar handle, while a hammer finish and weatherproof lacquering help give it extra resistance to rust and scratches.
Unless you have a vast lawn and are extra finicky about neatness then you’re unlikely to use an edging tool as regularly as other implements, but at £19 this well made product is a worthwhile addition to your tool shed.
To look their best, lawns like a regular supply of water, and the easiest way to satisfy their thirst is to install a water sprinkler.
This sprinkler from Hozelock attaches to your hose and has a metal spike for shoving into the lawn.
Five jets propel the water at full power, or you can switch to a gentler pace for more delicate plants and new lawns. You can set them to cover a full or part circle up to 20m in diameter.
The water-powered motor is designed to provide even coverage and can cope with lower water pressures (1 to 10 bar).
Despite their thirst, grass is one of the toughest plants around and can survive the kind of droughts that kill off many less hardy species.
So if there’s a water ban in force then don’t worry about having to switch the hose off – set up your sprinkler when allowed and your lawn will soon bounce back to life.
Strimmers are the quick way of cutting grass edges, but if those edges are adjacent to precious plants then you’ll want the precision of doing it by hand with shears.
Edging shears, such as these from Bahco, come with long handles, meaning you don’t have to kneel in order to snip.
The coated steel cutting head not only prevents rusting but also minimises friction between the blades, focusing the energy on the cut for a much more efficient action.
A special collar near the base of the long handles helps prevent the shears from jarring during use and soft grips at the other end make the job more comfortable.
These shears are sharp and springy and make light work of what would otherwise be one of the more awkward lawn care duties.
Lawns don’t have to be grass alone – a few carefully chosen bulbs, such as crocus or daffodils, will provide a smattering of spring colour before the grass starts growing again in earnest.
To avoid making a mess of your lawn by digging unruly holes in it when planting the bulbs in Autumn, it’s advisable to invest in a specific tool for the job, such as this long handled bulb planter from Fiskars.
To use, thrust the cone into the turf by standing on the two-sided stepping board. The cone’s sharp tines will cut and lift out a small portion of turf and soil, allowing you to pop your bulb into the resulting hole.
Squeeze the lever on the handle and the soil will be released, covering the bulb and maintaining your lawn’s appearance. Smart folk might note that this same soil-removing method can also be used to pull unwanted weeds from your lawn.
We adored So & Mo, a subscription service of lawn feed (they also sell booster feed and weed control), tailored to help coax a lacklustre lawn to lush, verdant life. You let them know your lawn size and goals for your patch, they’ll do the rest
Subscribe and liquid feed is delivered directly to your door six times a year. The liquid feed is a seasonally adjusted formulation to provide your land with what it needs for that season’s vissicitudes.
We found it took a month to turn our lawn - patchy, weed struck and overly damp - to a luscious green thatch of grass we’re very proud of. No green thumb required: this is useful stuff.
From £12 a month - prices vary according to lawn size.