Best Lawn Equipment and Garden Plants
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Updated on 02/02/2018
Maintaining a lawn and garden takes a lot of effort, from finding the right equipment to understanding the unique properties of your local climate, soil and native plant life.
What garden plants you want will depend on the type of garden you’re planting and your climate. This guide can help you create a lawn and garden to elevate your curb appeal without too much maintenance.
Compare Reviews for Top Lawn Equipment and Garden Plants
Read 710 Reviews
Roberta’s Gardens has been in business for over 50 years, offering consumers quality perennial and annual flowers and plants. It is consistently a top global provider of hard-to-find and easy-to-grow plants.
|John Deere Snow Blowers|
Read 47 Reviews
John Deere was founded in 1837 and is headquartered in Moline, Illinois. It designs, manufactures and sells a full line of over 10 snow blowers for commercial and residential use.
Read 31 Reviews
STIHL was founded in 1926 and is based in Waiblingen, Germany. It is a manufacturer of chainsaws and other outdoor power tools including blowers. Its line of blowers includes handheld or backpack gas, electric and battery blowers.
|WORX Yard Tools|
Read 163 Reviews
WORX makes and markets multiple models of electric lawn and garden tools throughout China and North America. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, it has a variety of lawn mowers, chain saws, blowers, trimmers and edgers.
|Tractor Supply Co.|
Read 198 Reviews
Tractor Supply Co. is a retail chain of home improvement, agricultural and lawn and garden equipment. Founded in 1938 and based in Brentwood, Tennessee, its lawn equipment includes mowers, blowers, augers and more.
|Home Depot Lawn & Garden|
Read 212 Reviews
Home Depot was founded in 1978 and is based in Atlanta. Its lawn and garden center sells plants and flowers, outdoor decor, landscaping items and lawn and garden power equipment like lawn mowers, trimmers, and leaf blowers.
|Sears Lawn & Garden|
Read 394 Reviews
Founded over 130 years ago, Sears is based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois and sells items from clothing and footwear to lawn and garden equipment. Its family of lawn equipment includes mowers, blowers and trimmers.
|Four Seasons Nursery|
Read 84 Reviews
Located in Bloomington, Illinois, Four Seasons Nursery is a producer and distributor of gardening plants, bulbs and supplies. It is a mail-order company, selling its products nationwide, in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands.
Read 178 Reviews
Miracle-Gro is a division of Scotts that sells fertilizer and plant nutrition products. Its family of products include soil, plant food, growing kits, seed pods and garden tools.
Read 50 Reviews
Spring Hill Nursery began in 1849 in Dayton, Ohio. Today, it is a mail-order nursery, selling perennials, trees, shrubs, roses, vines, annuals and edibles to consumers nationwide.
What to look for in lawn and garden equipment and plants
What lawn and garden equipment do you need?
Most companies carry a wide variety of lawn, gardening and snow removal equipment. The size of your property is the biggest factor to consider when choosing lawn and garden equipment. For instance, larger properties will need fast zero-turn mowers, while small residential lawns can get by with a small engine push-mower. Similar rules apply for garden and snow removal; if you have a very small garden or driveway you may not need commercial grade gardening tools or snowblowers.
- Lawn equipment: Lawn mowers are designed to make cutting your grass as easy as possible, no matter the size of your yard. They include self-propelled, push or riding mowers. String trimmers (also called weed eaters) are handheld gas or electric machines that trim grass around trees or the edges of your yard with a rotating head and thick string. Most string trimmers come with an edger attachment that makes it easy to get a nice clean edge between grass and paved surfaces like sidewalks and driveways.
- Gardening equipment: Power gardening tools make building or maintaining your garden fast and easy. Tillers and cultivators are gas powered machines that use fast, rotating blades to turn over the dirt in your garden, aerate the soil and distribute fertilizer. You can find gas, electric or manual powered pruning tools to keep your bushes and larger shrubs under control. Not to be confused with chain saws meant for large brush and trees, power pruning tools work by using a small saw-like feature to cut, shape and mold hedges and greenery. Digging tools such as gas-powered augers let you easily drill into the earth to place things like fence posts or large bushes and small trees.
- Snow removal: If you get a regular amount of snowfall each season, you might want to invest in a snowblower. Snow blowers come in multiple sizes and stages to handle small to large amounts of snow.
Should I buy gas or electric lawn and garden equipment?
When it comes to choosing gas or electric equipment, it’s all about personal preference and which piece of equipment you’re using. Their upfront prices are comparable. Keep in mind that gas powered equipment requires consistent refueling, which can add up over the long-term.
- Push mowers: Despite popular belief, electric mowers perform just as well, if not better than, gas mowers. They’re also quieter and eco-friendly. They make the most torque at around zero RPM. This means that when the mower gets clogged with clipping, it actually gets stronger. A gas mower’s engine gets weaker as it becomes strained.
- Hedge trimmers: Electric hedge trimmers are lighter, quieter and easier to control when performing detailed work like shaping your hedges. Gas trimmers give you the freedom to move anywhere without a cord.
- String trimmers: You’ll find gas and electric models of string trimmers (weed eaters). A gas powered string trimmer is best for larger yards. You are not tied to a cord as you navigate your yard. Gas trimmers are also better equipped to handle tall weeds. The downside of gas trimmers is that you have to refill them with gasoline, which can get costly over time. If you prefer electric, check out battery powered models and make sure the charge lasts at least an hour.
Where can I get parts and service for my lawn and garden equipment?
Whether you order a product online or in a store, make sure you have access to parts and/or support. Manufacturers’ websites should provide an easy way to register products, parts and service-locating tools. You can also register your product online to ensure the warranty is valid.
- Replacement parts: Generally, lawn and garden chains don’t carry all replacement parts for the equipment they sell. You can find and order any part found on your piece of equipment on the manufacturer's website. Enter the part or model number to find and order a variety of parts for a specific model. You can also search for parts by part type or machine type.
- Product registration: In most cases, registering your product online validates and/or extends your warranty. Other benefits of product registration include recall notifications and individualized incentives.
- Service locator: Some manufacturers’ websites include a service locator that finds the nearest service center to your current location. This is useful if you prefer to have a qualified mechanic work on your equipment.
What are common types of garden plants?
It’s hard enough to keep a garden alive and thriving. But if you don’t plant the right kinds of plants in the right spot, it’s almost impossible. Lawn and garden companies do a great job of labeling their plants as annuals, perennials and biennials, as well as how much sun they need. This ensures you’re buying the right kind of plants for your garden.
- Annuals: An annual plant means it will germinate, bloom and die within the same year. It might not be a calendar year. For example, some plant species germinate in the autumn, survive through winter and bloom the following spring.
- Perennials: A perennial is a plant that lives more than two years. Many vegetables are perennials and are harvested early – after the first year. For example, onions can be harvested after the first year as small onions. The resulting small onions can be planted again, yielding full-sized onions.
- Biennials: Less common than the first two, biennials are plants that take two years to complete their life cycle. They germinate and grow, survive through the winter, grow more, bloom and die. Cabbage is a common biennial plant.
What are common types of lawn and garden equipment?
There are multiple types of lawn mowers to choose from based on the size of your lawn. Most companies offer multiple models of push, self-propelled, riding and zero-turn mowers. These mowers have various engine sizes that can handle any sized yard or property.
Trimmers and edgers
Trimmers generally come in two varieties: string trimmers and hedge trimmers. String trimmers are used to edge and weed-eat properties while hedge trimmers are used to maintain bushes and small trees. Most string trimmers come with an edger attachment. Larger property owners might opt for a walk-behind edger.
Power equipment for gardening includes counter- and forward-rotating tillers, cultivators, pruning tools and digging tools. Those with large properties or multiple gardens can benefit from power gardening tools.
Snow blowers can be handheld or wheeled and generally come in single-, two- or three-stage models. The deeper the snow, the more stages a blower needs to clear an area. Wheeled snow blowers are ideal if you regularly find yourself covered in a foot or more of snow.
Leaf blowers can be handheld or wheeled. Some models of leaf blowers can be worn as a backpack to make leaf removal on large properties easier.
Who needs lawn and garden equipment and plants?
Homeowners shop at lawn and garden centers for equipment and products to help maintain their property. From mowers and trimmers to fertilizer, weed-control products and even garden plants themselves, homeowners can find any item or product they might need to keep their yard and garden healthy.
Managers who look after apartment complexes or business parks can find the proper lawn equipment and garden plants to make sure their landscaping is beautifully maintained.
Churches can find the proper size and quantity of lawn and garden equipment to keep their property nicely landscaped. Lawn and garden companies make it easy to find the right type of garden plants for properties who receive full, partial or no sunlight.
Schools generally have large campuses to maintain, as well as sports complexes with football and baseball fields. Having the proper lawn and garden equipment to handle a large property is important.
Homeowners associations need lawn and garden equipment to maintain communal areas in their neighborhood. Neighborhood entrances need the right kind of garden plants each season and playgrounds need year-round upkeep.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
Compare Reviews for Top Lawn Equipment and Garden Plants
|Michigan Bulb Company|
Read 154 Reviews
For over 60 years, Michigan Bulb Company has been providing consumers with top quality plants in multiple varieties. Customers can have a garden designed by an expert using their pre-planned garden feature.
|Honda Lawn Mowers|
Read 117 Reviews
Honda was founded over 68 years ago in Japan. Its line of power equipment includes multiple models of self-propelled or push lawn mowers.
Read 29 Reviews
Dating back to 1904, Lawn-Boy manufactures a lineup of walk-behind and “Zero Radius Turning” mowers. It was acquired by The Toro Company in 1992 and has its headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois.
Read 110 Reviews
Homelite has been providing homeowners with lawn and garden equipment for nearly seven decades. Its family of power equipment products include chain saws, power washers, string and hedge trimmers, mowers, blowers and generators.
|Scotts Lawn Service|
Read 265 Reviews
Scotts Lawn Service was founded in 1998 and is part of TruGreen. It provides lawn, tree, shrub care and pest control to commercial and residential consumers. Its products include lawn food, grass seed and weed control.