Landscaping is the process of making an area of land look more attractive by changing the design and adding decorative equipment elements from nature. It’s a very profitable career path— especially if you own your own landscaping business.
There are many services that you can offer, including general lawn care and gardening. However, you should be knowledgeable about all types of landscaping in order to be able to provide the most service. You should also be aware of the startup costs like commercial property insurance to safeguard the equipment you need to operate your business effectively.
Anytime you’re working with lawn or construction tools and machinery, it’s important to have the proper safety equipment. This is also known as PPE (personal protective equipment), and landscape designers, construction workers, etc. can become seriously injured when not wearing this equipment. Examples of PPE include hard hats and steel-toed boots, but these aren’t really needed in the landscaping business. Instead, landscape designers need:
- Ear protection (ear muffs and plugs)
- Eye protection (safety glasses)
- Gloves (washable, cotton/latex, and leather)
- Long-sleeved shirts
Steel-toed boots and a hard hat may also be necessary if you’re working around heavy equipment, rocks, and trees. It’s important to get the safety equipment necessary for whatever type of landscaping job you do.
A general rule of thumb for hand tools is to go with a wooden handle. Wood-handled tools are often the most durable and the most affordable. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to buy the most expensive hand tools. Simple hand tools with wooden handles are often the most durable and will give you more bang for your buck.
Long-handled pruning shears are used to cut tree branches, cutting through branches up to one inch thick. There are also electric (or gas-powered) pruning shears that can cut thicker branches.
Rakes are pretty much a staple when it comes to doing any type of ground work. Landscapers, specifically, will need two types of rakes: a steel rake and a leaf rake. Steel rakes are for moving heavier material, such as gravel or mulch, whereas leaf rakes remove lighter debris like leaves and twigs.
Shovels are another staple when it comes to landscaping, and it’s okay to spend a little more money on shovels. Most professional landscape designers prefer to use a steel-handle shovel or a wooden one.
Power Tools and Equipment
Power tools are tools that require electricity/batteries or gas to work effectively. Generally, electric tools are quieter than gas-powered tools, but gas-powered tools are much more powerful than electric tools. When it comes to power tools and equipment, here is where you’ll really want to invest your money. High-quality power tools from well-established brands are less likely to break down, and if they do, you’ll be able to find the needed parts to repair them.
Grass trimmers (also known as weed whackers) are necessary to get a nice finishing edge against your lawn features. Hedge trimmers do the same for hedges. With power tools that you have to carry around and possibly even use for long amounts of time, you’ll want to make sure that you choose tools that are comfortable to use.
Landscaping isn’t just about the look of the land— the health of the land is also important, and this is why you’ll also need a lawn aerator. Aeration allows nutrients (sunlight, water, oxygen, etc.) to reach and flow through the soil. You’ll also need a garden sprayer.
This is one of the most expensive landscaping tools you’ll buy, but it’s also one of the most necessary tools. You’ll definitely want to invest in a high-quality lawn mower, with a blade diameter of at least 30 inches. This will allow mowing to be done more quickly and efficiently.
Raking leaves is very effective, but having a leaf blower can be a life-saver when there’s an overwhelming amount of leaves to rake. A leaf blower will help you collect leaves much faster than raking them, and you’ll also want to choose a gas-powered leaf blower over an electrical one.
Skid Steer Loader
These are small, versatile machines that can be very helpful when landscaping— especially for larger projects. They can also accommodate different types of attachments to suit your needs, such as a tiller, a rock rake, or a root rake.
Don’t forget your miscellaneous equipment, such as buckets, fertilizing equipment, and even a commercial vehicle with towing capabilities to be able to transport your materials to and from the landscaping site.
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