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imageNow that we are truly seeing the first glimpses of spring (after an ass-kicking winter) and I am coming down off a House of Cards binge, I can turn my efforts to the outside of the house.  In our home, not only do I take care if the inside of the house, but I am also generally in charge of the outside of the house.  In what is hopefully a series of posts, I will let you in on some of my adventures outside the house.  I have visions of buying a lawn mower, painting the trim on the house and fixing the lawn that is sadly in need of some attention.  Today, however, I will give you a few tips on what tools you need to keep your yard looking somewhat tidy (or at least keep your neighbors from calling Hoarders on you).

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Three main items you will need are a sturdy shovel, rake and large pruners. Even if you have a lawn service the rake comes in handy when the leaf truck is barreling down your street and the lawn guys don’t come till the next day. The pruners are great for taking off the dead branches from small trees and bushes like lilacs and forsythia (keeping in mind that forsythia will sprout two branches where you cut which will make the plant more robust.) Also, it is very satisfying to lop off those dead branches. The shovel is good for turning over your garden as well as chopping up that stubborn ice in your driveway.

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A few secondary items that come in very handy include a mallet, small pruning shears (gives you a little more control), a small saw (this baby was put to good use with the Halloween storm a few years ago.) and “scissors”.  The mallet is better than a hammer (which you hopefully already have in your indoor toolbox) because it is sort of springy and has a bigger area on the head for pounding down fence posts or putting together those heavy duty plastic kids’ toys.  Finally, those scissor looking things (with the yellow handle) are more useful than you would think.  They can snip off those plastic things that hold cardboard together as well as cut flowers, to name a few.

I know there are tons of other tools that would be helpful in the your yard and garden but I found that these 7 items I use more than any more specialized tools like an edger or bulb digger.  They are generally low cost with the most expensive item (the shovel) probably only running about $25 at Home Depot.

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