So you've just bought your first house and you can't wait to get out in the yard and make it your own. If you were previously renting or living with your parents, it's pretty likely you don't have any garden tools to speak of and, if you do, they might not be ones you really need. Below you'll find a list of five essential tools, to help you keep within your modest budget as a new homeowner while still having what you need to keep your yard and garden looking as fresh as it did the day you bought your house.
- Lawnmower. This is pretty self explanatory. If you let your lawn become overgrown and ugly, your neighbours will rue the day the previous owners of your home moved. Whether your mower is a manual push mower or of the gas/electric variety, you'll definitely need something to cut the lawn.
- Pruning shears. Invest in the most expensive pruning shears you can afford and take good care of them. Every spring when you take them out, clean and oil them thoroughly for the season, then do the same in the fall when you put them away. Your pruning shears will last for decades this way and will help you make quick work of pesky weeds, or help shape your shrubs and fruit trees into beautiful (and tasty) works of art.
- Rake. Rakes are one of those single-use tools that are often forgotten until the autumn when leaves fall and homeowners take hasty trips to the hardware store, only to find that the rake selection is very slim. Your rake will be an invaluable tool if you plant perennials that need high-quality mulch to help them make it through the winter. It's also helpful just for yard tidying and leveling soil in the garden.
- Shovel. A shovel is a homeowner's best friend. Your shovel will help you create your garden, dig out hideous plants from homeowners past, and even aid you when it comes time to bury your child's first pet hamster. If for some reason you find yourself without a snow shovel, you could even use your all-purpose shovel temporarily.
- Hose. Ok, this isn't exactly a tool, but it is possibly the most useful item in this list and undoubtedly something you won't realize you need until you really need it. Try hosing down your dog or washing your car without a hose. Vinyl hoses offer the best bang for your buck, but if you can spring for a rubber hose, you'll be glad you did.
As you did with your home, it's important to spend within your means, while still going for the highest quality you can afford. It's well worth it in the long run to buy well-made but slightly more costly tools that can be easily maintained and repaired for decades of use, rather than falsely saving money with cheap tools that have to be discarded when broken. Keep these tools safe by making sure your shed/garage is always locked when not in use. It's always good idea to take note of the serial numbers of any power tools you may have.