There are two different kinds of rakes that every gardener needs to have: a lawn rake and a garden rake. While being quite different, both rakes take care of important lawn care functions.
Choosing the Right Rake
You can clean all kinds of debris from your lawn and garden using a yard rake. Traditionally they have been used to rake leaves in the Fall. It can also be used to help you clean up your yard in the Spring. Winter always deposits a fair amount of decaying leaves, twigs, and other debris, and a yard rake is the ideal tool for reaching under bushes and digging out all the junk that gets stuck in there. You should also use a yard rake to clear debris from your garden. Young plants have a tough time trying to sprout through a layer of dead leaves.
Some yard rakes have tines which are spring-loaded. You will be able to use these around plants without damaging them. Although a narrower rake will be able to clean around plants more easily, a wider rake will make a world of difference when raking leaves. Many of the newest rakes on the market have ergonomic handles. These handles are designed so that the least possible stress is put on the back during raking.
You will need to use a garden rake to break up chunks that form in the soil as well as to smooth over the top of your garden to prepare it for planting. The configuration of the rake’s steel head is important. It needs to have teeth that are sharp enough to break up dirt clods and a flat back that you can use to tamp down dirt. A bow rake has longer, curved tines that make it easier to do raking jobs in hard soil.
Most garden rakes are about 5’ long and will have either a fiberglass or hardwood handle. There are usually between 14 and 16 tines on the rake head. These tines need to be sharp enough to pull stones and debris away from plants without harming them. You will also use it to rake garden soil smoothly.
Tools with forged blades will cost you more initially, but they’ll make up for it by lasting for a much longer time. A long-handled rake places less stress on your back, but it also provides you with less control than a short-handled one.
Clean your garden rakes and tools each time you use them to keep them in top condition. When putting them away for the winter, give them a coat of wax to protect them. A rake is one of the most essential tools for yard work, so you’ll want to take care of it to make it last longer. When choosing a rake, pick the best one you can afford. It will provide you service for a good many years.