Embarking on a DIY gardening or landscaping project can be an incredibly exciting time, but can also feel daunting at the same time. If it’s your first time undertaking a project of this scale, it can be difficult to know where to start, as well as what tools or equipment you’ll need along the way. Alongside this, it’s no secret that landscaping is hard work, and being at the mercy of the elements (particularly in the UK, where the weather is notoriously unpredictable) means it’s essential that all landscapers work as efficiently as possible when conditions outside are favourable. This all comes down to making sure that you have the right tools on hand to get the job done. Whether you’re completely new to landscaping or a seasoned professional looking for a helping hand, we’ve put together a list of all of the essential landscaping tools and equipment you might need throughout the course of your project.
What Do You Want to Achieve In Your Outdoor Space?
If you haven’t quite set on a concrete plan for your landscaping project and are doing some research to gather inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. There are a vast number of landscaping projects that you can undertake without any professional help, so long as you have the right equipment and the drive to get the job done. If you’re struggling to get the creative juices flowing, here are some landscaping ideas you might want to consider.
● Plant a tree or hedge: Large-scale greenery such as trees and hedges break up different parts of your garden, whilst also ensuring that the space stays as natural-looking as possible. It will also encourage local wildlife to come into your garden, and can even serve to offer some more privacy if your garden is attached to others.
● Install decking: Decking is a fantastic way to add some more depth to your garden. By creating different levels, your space will feel more dynamic, not to mention that it provides the perfect place for outdoor dining and entertaining.
● Create a flower bed: Flower beds are a cost-effective yet transformative way to give your garden a breath of fresh air. It’s a highly versatile option, meaning that you can get creative with its appearance. For example, you could raise them, expand them or even add depth by layering plants at different heights. From neat beds to vast meadows, plants and flowers add a beautiful, natural flair to any garden.
● Install a pond or water feature: Water features are often the real wow-factor of any curated garden display, but this doesn’t mean that you have to install a cascading waterfall to impress. A simple pond or fountain is not only easy to install, but also looks fantastic in any garden regardless of size. Plus, you can always find some great options at your local garden centre.
● Planting a variety of greenery: Planting lots of different types of plants adds texture and vibrancy to gardens, so getting creative with your choice of greenery will make all the difference to your outdoor space. Combining seasonal flowers with evergreen hedges, for example, will make sure that your space feels alive all year round. You can also experiment with various sizes and levels to add more contrast.
● Dig out a patio: Much like decking, patios provide a space for outdoor dining and entertaining, and even require less maintenance as the slate will be less affected by harsh weather conditions.
Essential Landscaping Tools For Your Project
Ground working is a fundamental aspect of landscaping which involves the excavation, shaping and transportation of soil - an essential component of most projects. Although large quantities of soil should generally be moved with excavators, there is always more detailed digging work that needs to be carried out by hand, including digging to consistent depths, levels and soil finishes.
Spades are typically about a metre long with a square blade at the end and a handle at the other. Spades are a landscaping staple particularly used for digging out neat and consistent sections of ground.
Shovels are similar in shape to spades but with a larger working blade. Used more for scooping up loose materials, shovels have a slightly more angled body. Their additional length makes more mechanical leverage which is easier on your lower back.
The humble wheelbarrow is one of the most essential landscaping tools at the DIY landscapers disposal. These simple contraptions consist of a metal vessel mounted onto a frame with handles and a single wheel. Barrows allow you to carry full loads of soil and aggregates for considerable distances with relative ease. A typical wheelbarrow will carry 80kg of hard aggregates, such as sand and hardcore, when full. Barrows are also extremely convenient for hand-mixing mortar mixes.
A graft consists of a long, 2-metre metal pole with a narrow and robust spade forged into one end. This spear-like tool is essential for landscapers thanks to its ability to loosen deep, compacted soil; it can also be staked far into the ground, cutting through roots and dislodging buried concrete. Grafts are perfect for horizontal excavations such as digging out patios.
Given that landscaping requires accurate measuring across long and short distances, tape measures are essential tools. Even DIY landscapers should have two different lengths of tape measures - 10-metre cased and 50-metre open reel.
Landscaping rakes are far more robust than a standard gardening rake. They typically consist of a long, robust wooden handle and a wide head. The rake head has thick, tubular ‘tines’, or teeth, which can be used to rake out beds of loose soil and aggregates.
Landscaping requires a lot of physical exertion, but depending on the scale of your project, sometimes manpower alone isn’t enough. Some of the most essential pieces of landscaping equipment are power tools. If you don’t want to invest in all of these tools outright, equipment hire is a viable option. From cement mixer hire to drill rental, a reputable equipment hire service will be able to supply everything you need to get your project done.
Cement mixers are a staple of landscaping; you’ll be hard-pressed to find a large-scale project that doesn’t require one. Cement mixers are particularly valuable for projects that require significant brickwork or paving. You can choose from either electric or petrol-powered mixers.
Power drills pack that extra punch that cordless drills lack. They have a more robust attachment grip between the drill’s shaft and the working attachments, making them less likely to slip during high velocity tasks. Most power drills will also have a hammer and chisel setting, which provides a wide range of uses.
Breakers come in a number of different sizes and grades, and are typically powered electrically or hydraulically. Most of the time, you won’t need to own a heavy-duty breaker, and if you’re working with strong concrete more than 100mm in depth it’s probably best to hire a larger machine. Smaller, handheld breakers are great value for money and are effective in smaller landscaping projects.
Not only are pressure washers great for revamping old surfaces, they are also perfect landscaping tools. They are predominantly used for the task of cleaning off a project after completion. Wheelbarrows and footfall during bad weather tend to compact dirt and materials into surfaces. Pressure washers give you the option to clean a project thoroughly, ensuring that you can properly admire your work.
It’s very common for landscaping projects that involve the preparation of planting beds to be turfed or seeded. One of the best ways to work the soil to a loose and crumbly texture is by using a tiller. These powerful machines are rotating blades which cut deeply into the ground, turning it as they go. This breaks up large clumps of soil and reduces it to a fine tilth. Tillers come in a wide range of sizes, but the larger, more powerful petrol-powered machines are naturally more efficient.
Looking For Reliable Landscaping Equipment Hire?
Whatever kind of landscaping project you are looking to undertake, Rocket Rentals supplies comprehensive plant, access and tool hire in Bristol, Cirencester, Gloucester, Oxford and Swindon. Whether you’re looking for mini digger hire, cement mixer hire or drill rental, we are here to help. When you choose Rocket Rentals, you can rest assured that your hired equipment is of industry standard and meets all of the required health and safety regulations, ensuring that you can get the job done efficiently. Regardless of the scale of your project, our years of industry experience mean that we are more than capable of helping you achieve your landscaping goals. For more information, please get in touch today.