10 Creative Ways to Care for Your Yard

Maintaining a manicured yard requires effort, patience, and the right tools. If you’re responsible for the landscaping chores at your house then you should already have the basics—rake, hose, mower—but there’s a whole other world of gear out there that's designed to target specific problems and make your work a lot easier. Check out these creative tools you can call upon this spring, summer, and fall.

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Gather Your Gear


Avoid the hassle of making multiple trips between your work site and the shed by bringing all your tools with you in the Burro Buddy. The tool caddy attaches to any standard-size wheelbarrow and has cubbies for all your gardening supplies from long-handled to short-handled—plus a cup holder and a water-resistant compartment for your phone and other small belongings. Available at Target; $39.95.

Related: The 10 Best Sheds for Your Backyard

Water Smarter


An in-ground sprinkler system takes the pressure off by watering the lawn even if you’re not there to do it yourself, but a fixed-in-stone schedule is not the most efficient way to water since it can’t self-adjust for rain or other factors. Enter Rachio, a smart sprinkler controller that integrates with your current system. The Wi-Fi-connected gadget synchs with local weather reports to automatically modify waterings based on the forecast. Through its app, you can monitor, adjust, and set schedules from anywhere, as well as add details about your grass and landscaping to receive more precise watering recommendations. Available at The Home Depot; $134.10.

Related: 8 Smart Ways to Put Your Garden on Autopilot

Dig In


Shoveling holes for new plants is thankless, back-breaking work. Save yourself the time and pain by picking up this digging drill bit, compatible with any standard power drill. When pressed to a garden bed, the bit creates neat, flat-bottomed holes for four-inch or six-inch potted plants. Also available for purchase from The Grommet is a digging extension rod, so you don’t even have to kneel. Available from The Grommet; $39.95.

Related: The 10 Best Buys to Make Yard Work No Work

Rain Collection


In this day and age it’s important to consider adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle at home, and that includes in the yard. A rain barrel is one small part of the sustainability puzzle; it works by storing rainwater that runs off the roof until you need it for watering the flowers and grass. This attractive option holds up to 50 gallons of water that can be dispensed through a hose or into a bucket, as well as a four-inch planter on top. Available on Amazon; $135.07.

Related: 10 Times You Can Get Nature to Do Your Yard Work for You

Reach New Heights


There’s not much room for error when you’re standing on a ladder spraying a hornets nest. Avoid getting too close for comfort—to the stinging insects and the strong chemicals—with this inventive aerosol spray can adaptor. Attach it to any standard threaded extension pole and then pull on the 18-foot diamond braided cord that triggers the mechanism to dispense the spray. You can angle it to reach into low, tight crevices or out of reach corners. The device works with any aerosol spray can so it doesn’t have to be just for getting rid of pests, you can use it for cleaning windows, testing smoke detectors, and more. Available on Amazon; $29.99.

Related: 9 Best Buys for a Bug-Free Home

Get Advice


Maintaining a healthy lawn isn’t easy, and carving out time to focus on turf care can be an even greater challenge. Recognizing this obstacle, Troy-Bilt developed a voice assistant tool, Ask Troy-Bilt, that determines the best time to mow your grass. You can ask Amazon Alexa or Google Home when you should mow and Ask Troy-Bilt will create a personalized schedule based on your zip code. The tool will add your next mowing session to your Google Calendar and send you text alerts if the weather changes. This virtual assistant skill might not mow the lawn for you, but it puts you on the path towards an automated landscape. Available for Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Cut to the Chase


Historically, lopping limbs from landscaping trees isn’t exactly the easiest or safest household chore, but with Black+Decker’s Cordless Alligator Lopper it can be both of those things. With its patented clamping jaws and scissor motion you can hold securely to the tool as it cuts through wood up to four-inches thick, while exerted less strain than you would do with a manual lopper. The power tool has safety features that prevent it from engaging until you’re ready to cut, and because it runs on a lithium battery, there’s no cord to trip you up. Available at The Home Depot; $129.50.

Carry Along


When you have a large yard or a bad back, a simple wheelbarrow isn’t the best solution to help you lug mulch, flowers, and supplies from one end of your property to the other. If you already own a riding mower or lawn tractor, spring for a tow-behind utility cart to maximize your mower’s utility and replace your dusty wheelbarrow. This cart by Brinly-Hardy has a universal hitch that will attach to most riding mowers and lawn tractors. Unloading your equipment is easy with the steep dumping angle and hands-free foot pedal. Available at The Home Depot; $189.

Show Your Stripes


You don’t need a professional grounds crew to achieve a ballpark-quality lawn. This striping kit from Toro makes it possible to stripe the lawn all on your own. The tool easily attaches to the back of a standard walk-behind mower, and creates the design as you mow. It’s a grand slam for better curb appeal. Available at The Home Depot; $97.50.

Take Cover


A day in the hot sun can take it out of you. While it’s important to hydrate, take breaks, and wear sunscreen when you’re working in the yard, it doesn’t hurt to amp up your defense from the rays with a canopy for your riding mower. The Toro TimeCutter sunshade offers a respite from the sun with shading on three sides. Stay cool and comfortable while working through your to-do list. Available at The Home Depot; $179.99.

Get Your Gardening Gear


Having the right tools makes any job easier.