Garden power tools/ mulching

hrhrudiJune 11, 2014

I'm a new/first-time homeowner and I am completely ignorant to all things garden/yard related. I have a mower that was given to me that I am using right now, but nothing else to help maintain.I have 2 items that I am looking to get and was hoping to get advice/recommendations on both.

The first is an edger/trimmer combo and the other is a garden blower/vac. I know I want cordless as I hate messing with the gas and extra care required with the traditional units.

For the edger, I see mostly ones that use a string of some sort. I have seen a few that have dedicated blades like mowers do, which makes sense to me, but do not seem to be as popular/as much choice. Is there a reason for this? What are peoples experience when comparing both types?

For the blower/vac, most I see remark about being able to clean up hard surfaces. Well, I would like to be able to use mine to blow/suck up leaves from the actual lawn where most of them fall, not just the drive way. I would assume everyone else would like that too??!! what's the deal with that?...are there any that are designed for both? Is it a power issue or just a design thing?

Also, I am not opposed to investing into a brand that has interchangeable heads/attachments and picking up a few batteries to ensure I can use them all, one after the over. This is to eliminate overall cost and also to try and save space as my garage has limited extra space. Plus I would like to pick up a hedge trimmer and maybe other parts later to use.

Just FYI, I have about a half acre lot (if that makes any difference). So figure I don't want entry-level junk but am not trying to go all crazy either.

The one last thing I wanted to mention was about the flower beds. I am in a neighborhood mostly with retirees with all the time on their hands to manicure their gardens and gossip about how bad mine looks.The mulch that was there from the previous owner has mostly gone away. Personally, I don't mind if it's just straight up earth around the flower beds, but everyone else either puts mulch or pine straw down. I am not a big fan of either due to the upkeep and also the potential for inviting additional bugs in to the environment. Pebbles are out of the question, but have heard of rubber mulch. I realize that this is more expensive up-front, but wondered if it would pay off over time and wanted to know about people's experience on all of these fronts.

Thank you all in advance for your time!

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Take a look at the Stihl battery Kombi line. I like Stihl and if I could, I'd buy their hedge trimmer yesterday. I really like their gas tools but with all the problems with ethanol and small engines, I'd go electric. Was given a Worx edger for Christmas it's still in the box. I've used my parents, not strong enough for their grass compared to my Stihl. Get an extra battery. Keep both charged. When my gas tools have reached their lifespan, this is the line I'm switching too.

I mulch leaves back into the grass, after I've filled my compost bins. Blowers are designed for both types of surfaces. Depending on how many leaves you have in the fall will determine what you do. I have enough to compost and mulch back. It's good for the grass. I might do one day for compost and one day for the yard. Depends on thickness of the leaves and if I have room in the bins.

I like a blade edger, nice quick job, no sneaking up. I use string at my house because I have a little edging and lots of weed eating. I use the blade to do the 100 ft driveway at my parents.

I use pine straw under my acid loving plants and bark mulch every where else. I put it on thick because weeding everything would be a nightmare. Hire a teen in the fall and spring to help me out, and it's done in no time. Don't know much about rubber mulch, family used it, weeds came up and it was a nightmare. Friends used it - was great for a year or two and they had a weed nightmare, it also washed out into their yard after a torrential storm. It won't degrade so we had a mulch gathering party. Both put landscape fabric down first. I don't use landscape fabric in my flower beds. I don't take old mulch off. I keep a four inch minimum thickness. Reduces my watering and weeding. Did I mention I'm lazy and was working 60 - 70 hours a week? We had onslaught of mosquitoes so I let the mulch decompose and tried just the soil. We still had those nasty little biters and I had a ton more weeds. Couldn't keep up, went back to thick mulch.

If neighbors are complaining, see if they'll help, give advice, etc. probably they will come around. You may have to change your landscaping to fit your lifestyle. Get with a landscape designer. We have one that will help you plan out in years so everything is affordable. There is probably one in your area too. Try one of the local colleges if they have some horticulture classes.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:18AM
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