Keeping a neat environment, a healthy garden, or simply a leaf-free lawn depends largely on having a rake, knowing how to use it, and the kind of rake suitable for various activities.
Did you know that there are different types of rakes? You probably only knew that a rake is a rake and, although you have seen them in different shapes and sizes, their differences don’t matter. Well, they do.
Different rake types are manufactured to serve various purposes. And even though you could use one rake for many purposes, you’d understand why having the right tool is important when you begin to tap into each of these rake types’ specific uses.
What's In This Guide?
Different Types of Rakes
You are probably familiar with rakes generally having a long stick and a backbone with tines on it.
However, your lawn may require you to have even more specific types of rakes for different uses. Below are some of the types of rakes and their uses:
- Leaf rake. Leaf rakes are the most common kinds of rakes, or probably what you grew up knowing. They have thin, long tines that help gather leaves without affecting the lawn. Leaf rakes are found in more homes more than any other type of rakes.
- Shrub rake. Shrub rakes are similar to leaf rakes but are more slender. They are also used to gather leaves, but they work better in narrower areas due to their smaller size. So, if you have a small lawn in your backyard or corners to work with, shrub rakes come in handy.
- Bow rake. Bow rakes have shorter, thicker tines for breaking and spreading soil evenly. They are good for tough lawns but not very good for gathering leaves.
- Hand rake. Hand rakes look like bow rakes, but they are much smaller and easier to use. As its name implies, a hand rake is designed to be easily maneuvered with the hands and looks a little more like garden forks than rakes.
- Thatch rake. You may need to detach your lawn at times when organic matter builds up in layers on your lawn. For this activity, a thatch rake comes in handy with a robust study framework that’s even bigger than a bow rake. It has blades on each side of its head to break up thatch and pull it up.
Benefits of Using Rakes
With a good rake, you can perform several activities ranging from breaking soils to evening out the ground and clearing unnecessary leaves off the lawn.
Rakes are also suitable for lawn owners who don’t have a lawnmower or whose lawnmower doesn’t clear grass clippings by itself.
On your journey to a beautiful lawn, you will always need a rake, for one purpose or the other. After all, that’s the purpose of keeping a lawn- to have a beautiful environment!
Disadvantages of raking
Although raking is essential to keep your lawn neat, you should avoid doing it often. Why? Because you may strip your lawn of its essential nutrients!
When grass blades fall off, or after a mowing session, you will have many leaves lying around. Typically, you should take your rake and start pulling the fallen leaves off your existing lawn.
Well, that is not always a good practice. Instead, chop the grass clippings into smaller pieces and leave them back on the lawn. These materials do not only serve as mulch to protect your lawn but also decompose into valuable nutrients over time.
To make this process easier, you could get a mulching mower to chop the grass clippings and pour them back into the lawn as it trims them. That way, you don’t have to do extra raking after your machine has done its work.
However, there should not be too much grass clipping left on a lawn. So, you only need to do some raking when there are too many leaves that may smother your grasses themselves.
How To Preserve Rakes
If you purchase quality rakes, your investment must have covered the quality of your rakes. So, if you buy a good rake, you are sure that it will last for a long time.
If you are the type that simply leans your rakes against a wall outside when you’re done with them, you are not doing well enough to the tool. If you don’t take deliberate measures to keep our garden rakes, they may not last as long as you expected.
Below are some ways to store and maintain garden rakes:
- Clean your rakes and prepare them for storage
You should clean your tools to preserve them for longer and get them ready for storage.
Apart from the essence of cleaning your tools to preserve them, you will also be preventing the spread of diseases amongst your garden plants if you maintain hygiene. Fungi, bacteria, and plant diseases can be spread from one plant to another via garden tools.
Brush off the dirt from your rakes after every use. If excess sap or dirt is caked and stuck to your rakes, remove it with a solution of dishwashing liquid with warm water and a brush.
- Look for good storage space.
When you have your rakes all good and clean, you should find and prepare an adequate storage space for keeping them.
Your storage space should be dark, dry, and covered from the sun, rain, and other natural conditions.
Some people have wooden benches with secured spaces underneath, where they can keep garden tools. Others have a separate store or garage for keeping their tools safe. Your storage space could be anywhere, as long as it will keep your rakes safe.
You may have developed a habit of keeping your tools nonchalantly outdoors when you are done with them. Well, it isn’t the best.
Your garden tools, particularly rakes, are almost irreplaceable when it comes to their functions in your garden.
So, you should ensure to keep them safe and use them most appropriately.