The landscape rake is a very simple tool and also easy to use. It is an invaluable tool in lawn care.
This relatively safe garden tool has a long stem and a working end that has about 10 to 12 small projections called tines. These tines are connected by a bridge. The stem is usually made of wood or metal, while the working end is made of metal.
It is sometimes called a rigid rake or a garden rake.
Uses Of The Landscape Rake
A rigid garden rake is a tool that can be used with one hand. It is usually used with the tines pointing towards the ground for most tasks. However, some garden tasks like leveling the ground on a planting bed, are better done with the flat bridge in contact with the ground and the tines pointing upwards.
Here are a few uses of the garden rake.
- Leveling the soil before planting.
- Breaking up medium-sized clumps of soil into smaller particles.
- Can be used to “work in” fertilizer or a thin layer of organic matter into the soil. This is achieved by a to and fro motion of the rake.
- It can be used to remove dead roots and debris from the soil.
- In the absence of a better option, it can be used for weed control, especially for creeping plants. But it doesn’t do a very tidy job.
- It can also be used to reduce layers of dirt or dried leaves before using the flexible garden rake or lawn broom to do a proper cleaning job.
Care Of The Landscape Rake
- Remove soil and organic matter after every gardening session.
- The metal part can be washed and allowed to dry.
- After the tool is cleaned, it should be stored on a garden tool rack or garden tool shed with the working end up and the stem pointing down.
- If the working end is not made of rust-proof metal, then it can be stored after a thin layer of oil is applied to it.
- In any case, the tool should always be allowed to dry.
Tips On Selecting A Good Rake
- To prevent backaches, select a tool with handles that are long enough to allow you to stand upright and work.
- Rakes with adjustable handle lengths are available and are good if more than one person would use them.
- Rakes with working ends made of rust-proof metal last longer.
- Select a rake that you can comfortably lift with one hand. The lighter the better.
The Leaf Rake
The leaf rake is different from the rigid one in that its tines are not sturdy but flexible.
It is mainly to clear up leaves and thin layers of debris on walkways and lawns.
It is used with the point facing downwards.
They are manufactured from different materials and come in different sizes and colors.
Some are made from, plastic while some are made from metal. Some are even made from bamboo.
The tool should be cleaned and stored in a dry place after use. Dried leaves and debris should be removed before storage.
It should also be kept away from toddlers who may find the flexible tines interesting. Store in a tool shed.
- Select one with a stem/handle that is long enough for you to stand and work.
- Adjustable stems/handles are available and would be good if more than one person uses the
- This tool is usually light but there are some heavy ones. I believe that lighter ones will help you work easily.
The Garden Fork
This is not the piece of cutlery you need on the dining table. A garden fork is needed for some yard tasks that are peculiar.
It is not a very versatile tool but very few tools can be used as a substitute for it.
It has a handle, a stem, and the fork end which is usually made of metal.
- To turn a compost heap.
- To break up large soil particles.
- To aerate the soil by turning it.
- To harvest some tubers and roots in the garden like carrots and potatoes.
- To mix in fertilizers and organic matter into the soil.
Care Of Your Garden Fork
- Clean properly and dry after use.
- Store on a tool rack or in the tool shed.
- Before prolonged storage, oil metallic parts.
- The use of garden gloves would prevent callouses and blisters after prolonged use.
- Use garden boots.
- Those with short stems are good for working at close range like when working on nursery beds while those with long stems are good for jobs like turning compost heaps and for working over larger areas.
- The fork end should be rigid and not flexible.
- Fork ends made of rust-proof metal parts last longer.
- The handle should be comfortable to work with. Try wrapping your fingers around it and see how it fits.