When spring arrives, the average homeowner's "honey-do" list likely has its share of outdoor landscaping tasks that need to be tackled. The right tools can make easier work of outdoor chores.
A report from the Associated Landscape Contractors of America titled "Economic Benefits of Landscape" states that landscaping can add as much as 14 percent to the resale value of a building and speed its sale by as much as six weeks. Homeowners looking to sell their home or just improve its market value will want to consider landscaping a viable investment. A March 2003 article in Smart Money noted that homeowners can expect to earn back 150 percent or more of their landscape investment through the value it brings to a property. Whatever the landscaping project, the right tools will make any task that much easier. There are certain items every homeowner should have in his or her gardening arsenal.
*Soil cultivator: A multi-pronged tool that breaks up clods of soil and grass to provide easier planting.
*Various garden hoes: Hoes can be used for breaking up soil, weeding, cultivating, aerating, and many other purposes.
*Spading fork: Another tool that loosens soil with straight tines that dig through dense soil.
*Shovel: A multipurpose shovel can dig through dirt, gravel and the like.
*Rake: A steel-pronged rake will till soil and spread out mulch and other organic matter in planting beds. A flexible rake is good for collecting leaves and thatch.
*Edger: Available as manual or gas powered, an edger gives planting beds and the edges of lawns a clean look.
*String trimmer: Weeds can easily be trimmed with a string trimmer that can work around bushes and other hard-to-reach areas.
*Gloves: Avoid blisters and insect bites with durable gloves that protect the hands.
*Lawn mower: To maintain a healthy lawn it will have to be trimmed to the correct height. A manual or powered lawn mower is the essential landscaper's tool.