Lawn Care Essentials

The right tools and supplies can reduce the burden of lawn care and give you more time to enjoy your yard. This article on lawn care essentials will help you maintain a beautiful lawn.

Lawn Care 101

A well-kept lawn will increase your home’s curb appeal, and will provide a great space for you and your family to spend time together. Maintaining a beautiful lawn is easier and less time consuming when you have the right tools. Key factors to consider when choosing lawn care equipment and treatments are the size of your yard and the current condition of the lawn. Corded electric or cordless rechargeable mowers and trimmers generally work well for the average-sized lawn, but gas-powered equipment may be required for large properties. Following a harsh winter, you may find you need to dethatch, aerate and reseed your yard to ensure a strong, lush lawn for the summer.

Essentials 1


Lawn Mowers

Electric, battery-powered and gas lawn mowers all do a great job, but each has its plusses and minuses. Corded-electric mowers are quiet and don't run out of power but have limited range. Rechargeable and gas mowers provide the freedom to reach the entire yard, but rechargeable mowers can lose power mid-lawn, and gas mowers require refuelling and are loud. Self-propelled mowers and mowers with large back wheels are best for large yards and hilly, uneven ground. For small yards, a push reel mower is a great low-cost option. Mulching mowers combine cutting and fertilizing by adding shredded grass back to the lawn; if you don't like the clippings on your lawn, you can choose a model that captures them in a bag as you mow.

Trimmers and Edgers

Trimmers and edgers give your lawn a well-manicured appearance by cutting in hard-to-reach areas, and trimming ragged borders along fences, walkways, driveways and garden edges. String trimmers easily cut grass and small, woody plants. Choose a heavy-duty trimmer for cutting rough brush. An edger is similar to a string trimmer but with metal blades and a vertical cutting head for cutting deeper, sharper edges. 


A spreader is essential for applying dry fertilizer or grass seed evenly to your lawn. A wheeled spreader distributes the fertilizer or seed as you push it over your yard. Be sure to plan your route, so you don’t miss spots or apply fertilizer in the same area more than once. Be careful about over-applying fertilizer as too much can burn the grass. 

Leaf Blowers

Leaf blowers use forced air to clear leaves and grass cuttings from walkways, driveways and patios. A rake works well in small spaces, but blowers are definitely better for larger areas. You can buy blowers in corded-electric, rechargeable and gas versions. Some models feature a vacuum option that sucks up leaves and other debris into an attached bag for disposal. Other models will mulch the collected grass clippings and leaves for use in fertilizing gardens. 


Sometimes only a part of your lawn requires special treatment to remove weeds or enhance lawn growth. That's when sprayers come in handy. Using a sprayer, you can apply weed killer and fertilizer to specific problem areas around your yard. Sprayers are available in a range of sizes, the most popular being the one- and two-gallon versions. Sprayers feature flow-control mechanisms to ensure even application. Smaller models have handles for easy carrying, while the larger models have straps for carrying like a backpack. 


Thatch is the layer of dead grass situated above a lawn’s soil and root system. It doesn't necessarily show up every year. When it does, however, it can stop moisture from reaching your lawn's roots and encourage fungus growth. Removing thatch requires vigorous raking with a metal-tined rake. If you need to clear thatch from a large area, you may require a dethatcher. One of the causes of thatch build-up is over fertilization, so be cautious when applying fertilizers to your lawn.


If you discover in spring that the ground beneath your lawn is hard and compacted, you may need to aerate it to improve drainage and allow moisture to reach the roots. There are two types of aerators: spiked aerators punch holes in the ground, while core aerators plunge hollow tines into the ground and extract plugs of soil. For small areas, a hand aerator works well, but you'll want to move up to a corded electric, rechargeable or gas model for large lawns. However you aerate your lawn, the process will be easier if the soil is moist.

Hoses & Sprinklers

The secret to a lush lawn is ensuring it gets the right amount of water. You'll need to install a hose-and-sprinkler set, and be diligent about using it when your lawn gets dry. There are several varieties of sprinklers, each with a different spraying action. Impulse sprinklers, which are intended for small lawns, revolve slowly while sending out a single, powerful jet of water. Rotary sprinklers, suited for medium-sized yards, also revolve slowly but send out powerful water sprays through two or three jets. Oscillating sprinklers distribute a fine water spray through many jets, allowing for fast coverage of large areas.


Your lawn needs nutrients to grow green and healthy. By applying fertilizer in both the spring and fall, you help strengthen the existing grass plants and encourage new growth in bare spots. There are two basic kinds of fertilizer: organic and inorganic. Inorganic fertilizers are man-made and contain varying concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. They should be watered-in after application to avoid burning the lawn. Organic fertilizers primarily contain compost and undergo little if any processing. Mulching mowers produce shredding grass clippings for use as a natural fertilizer.

Grass Seed

If your lawn has a weed problem, you could solve it through over-seeding. When you over-seed a lawn, you're simply sowing grass seed into an existing lawn. Over-seeding will thicken the grass, leaving little room for weeds to grow. The seeds will need help, so you should mix in fertilizer with the seeds during spreading. For bare spots, rough up the areas first with a rake and apply a mixture of soil and seed. With proper watering and fertilizing, bare spots will fill in. Keep the area watered until the seed becomes established. A newly seeded lawn must be kept constantly moist.  

Essentials 2


Hand Tools

Rakes and spades are essential tools to have in your lawn-care arsenal. You’ll need two types of rakes. A leaf rake has a fan of long, soft tines for clearing grass clippings and fallen leaves. A bow rake has short, strong metal tines well suited to removing tough thatch and distressing bare patches in your lawn prior to seeding. You’ll also need a pointed spade-type shovel for digging small trenches along flower beds and around trees to keep grass from growing into those areas. 

Garden Bags

Lawn and leaf bags make yard clean up easy. Keep them on hand to collect waste when mowing the lawn, pruning the garden or raking leaves. They are available in compostable plastic or paper varieties. 

Lawn Care Tips:

• Mow your lawn roughly once a week, or as needed
• Set the mower blades to two to three inches high and keep them sharp
• Cutting grass too short encourages weed growth and sun damage
• Mow in different directions each time in order to cut more surface of reoccurring weeds
• Mow your lawn when the grass is dry to avoid clogging your mower
• Grass needs about one-inch of water each week, preferably in the evening or early morning before the sun reaches its peak
• Water more often during very hot weather
• To conserve water, install barrels to collect rainwater from gutter spouts
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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