While it's always a good idea to think about hiring a landscaping service for the bigger jobs in your yard, you can often tackle smaller projects with a high degree of success if you're interested in this type of work. One of the best ways to achieve success with your landscaping projects is to have the right assortment of tools. You already know the basics—shovels, rakes, trimmers, and other handheld and powered devices are integral to your success. However, loading up with a handful of other tools that are lesser known but highly effective can help make a job easier. Here are three tools that you can buy at your local landscaping supply retailer.
A mattock is a sturdy hand tool designed to be used with just a single hand and swung vigorously at the ground to break up dirt, dig holes, and even chop roots. Similar in a manner to a one-handed pickax or hoe, the mattock is commonly available in slightly different styles with different heads. The shovel-style head is ideal for digging small holes for planting shrubs or other plants or turning up hard-packed soil. The chopping head can easily slice through stubborn plant matter if you're tearing up an old hedge, for example, to make room for something new.
If you've ever used a heavy garden rake to try to level the ground during any landscaping project, you've likely run into some frustration. Heavy rakes are too bulky for this job while grass rakes are too light. The ultimate accessory for getting an area of dirt smooth is a landscaping rake. Made of lightweight aluminium and with a wide head, landscaping rakes provide just enough pressure to allow you to shape the dirt beneath you but not enough pressure to gouge a trough where you're working. This wide head means that it will take you fewer passes to get the job done.
Sometimes called a "potato fork" for its role in helping harvest potatoes, the refuse fork is a long pitchfork whose tines are bent perpendicular to the shaft of the tool rather than parallel with it. The refuse fork is an ideal ally for dragging through the earth to collect rocks. And, unlike other tools that will help you gather the rocks, you'll actually be able to lift larger rocks with this tool, which will save you from bending down and doing the job by hand.