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Garden equipment gear: when to rent, what to buy

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

If you bought every bit of landscaping equipment you ever hoped to use, you'd probably go broke. Not to mention that your shed would need to be roughly the size of an airplane hangar to accommodate it all.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Landscaping equipment you should rent

  1. Tillers: Unless you own acreage and you're covering it annually with crops, a tiller is only useful when you are renovating soil or replacing a lawn. Rent one on just those occasions.

  2. Aerators: A power aerator is a piece of equipment you are likely to use once, maybe twice a year at most. That, plus its size and price, put it securely in the rental category.

  3. Sod cutters: Digging out a large amount of grass is exhausting. Sod cutters to the rescue! But how often do you dig up copious amounts of sod? Just rent.

Gardening equipment worth buying

  1. A good lawn mower: Today, the options range from a manual reel, push mower to a robotic mower reminiscent of the Roomba vacuum cleaner. You also have electric push and gas-powered push motor options, with the former being the emission-free version. Lawn tractors and zero-turn radius allow you to sit down and ride. Household budget, front and back yard size, and whether or not you choose to use gas are the major factors for deciding on a lawn mower.

  2. Hand tools: A rake, shovel, spade and clippers are essential for ongoing lawn and garden upkeep. They don't take up much space, and having your own sure beats borrowing the neighbors' once or twice a month.

  3. Lawn fertilizer, herbicide, sprayers and spreaders: A good sprayer and a good spreader are worth purchasing. Keep sprayers and spreaders for lawn fertilizer and weed control separate. For a natural weed remedy, you might try also vinegar. For more on natural lawn fertilizers check out our recent article on the topic.

Depending on the landscaping job and the frequency with which you need to conduct it, renting garden equipment can be the least expensive way to go. For essential, recurring jobs, let this handy cheat sheet guide you toward making the right garden equipment purchases.

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