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For small lawns, choose smart tools that get the job done quickly and store away neatly

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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:36 am, Sat Jun 21, 2014.

(BPT) - Small lawns have many of the same needs and issues as larger lawns, but they don’t always require the same bulky tools to get the job done. A smart arsenal for small lawn care includes some sturdy hand tools and a few small, but powerful, gadgets. If you’re looking to outfit your arsenal, consider these tools.

* Easy thatch dispatchers – Thatch is a natural protective layer of debris that forms in lawns at the soil level and helps retain soil moisture. But when thatch gets too thick, matting to half an inch deep or more, it can prevent water, air and nutrients from reaching grass roots. Thatch removal tools slice through and lift thatch. The push-powered, wheeled Combisystem Vertical Cutter by Gardena removes matted thatch and aerates the lawn soil at the same time. For those who prefer manual raking, there’s the sharp-bladed True Temper Thatch Rake.

* Lawn care at the flip of a switch – Small lawns need fertilizer and treatment for weeds just like large lawns. But a large awkward push spreader can be overkill for a small lawn and take up valuable storage space in the garage. The new lightweight, hand-carried, battery-powered Ready2Go Spreader is specifically designed to make quick work of small lawns, slopes and tight spaces. It comes pre-loaded with popular lawn care products from Preen, GreenView and Vigoro. Each unit is pre-calibrated for its product so no further adjustments are ever needed. To use the spreader, just pick it up, flip the switch and walk to cover up to 2,500 square feet to fertilize or treat the lawn. To spiff up yards overrun with weeds including tough dandelions, try the Ready2Go Spreader with Preen Lawn Weed Control. For eco-friendly spring lawn feeding, the Ready2Go Spreader with GreenView Lawn Food offers quick green up plus controlled nutrient release over eight weeks. Each unit is refillable, reusable, and its pre-installed AA batteries are replaceable. After use, store the compact, portable tool on a shelf, with no space lost in the garage or shed.

* Water the lawn, not the living room – For a lawn, water ranks with sunlight in terms of importance. For a small lawn, often nestled up close to the house and open summer windows, putting water only where it’s wanted is desirable. The Dramm Colorstorm 9-Pattern Turret Sprinkler has adjustable directional sprays in nine different patterns to water small lawns evenly. Durable and efficient, it gives the lawn the good, deep soaking it needs, while leaving the living room curtains dry and blowing in the summer breeze.

* Keep the lawn in fighting trim – Mowing a lawn regularly is more than aesthetic: keeping grass at the right length, between two-to-four inches, helps grass develop strong roots. The Black and Decker 19-inch cordless electric mulching mower is designed for small lawns. It not only makes it easy to keep the lawn mowed to the correct height, it chops up clippings so they decompose easily, discouraging thatch buildup.

* Give a small lawn an edge – By their nature, small lawns are often viewed up close and personal. Edged lawns not only look nice, they help keep garden weeds out of the lawn and vice versa. But edging by hand is hard work. The GreenWorks 12 Amp Corded Edger is sturdy, lightweight, easy to maneuver and ideally suited to creating crisp tidy edges in turf along borders of walkways, driveways, paths and garden or landscape beds. With only a connecting cord of its own, attach the edger to the grounded outdoor-rated extension cord of choice, up to 50-feet. For those who prefer a manual edging solution, choose an edging tool with a sturdy handle and a strong hand-forged cutting edge such as the English-made Clarington Edging Knife.

These are tools that get the job done and done quickly, keeping small lawns trim, tidy and naturally strengthened to fend off weeds. They’re also compact and easy to store and keep until next needed, a boon where storage spaces are also smaller with no room to spare.

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