Tool Box: New life for old lawns

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The Independent Online
'EXCELLENT' is the verdict on most aspects of the Mantis lawn-care package. The kit adds pounds 183.50 to the pounds 342.50 asked for the light, petrol-engined tiller that is the heart of this versatile machine. Both amounts include postage. The deal also includes the right to return the Mantis within a month.

The de-thatcher was fitted in a matter of seconds. Forty spring-loaded tines ripped up moss, dead roots and other rubbish as efficiently as the Conservative Party de-Thatched itself in 1990.

Switching to the aerator was equally simple. The recommended technique - walk backwards - is not ideal for a big lawn, but the steel blades did a first-

class job.

You are warned that the lawn will look a mess for a week or two, but the long-term benefits are considerable. Mantis recommends this treatment in early autumn, spring and midsummer.

We were less impressed by the nine-blade edger, which tended to cut a slit rather than define a border.

All these jobs can be done by hand, of course. Much depends on the relationship between the size of your garden and the size of your bank balance.

G W Thornton & Sons, Grether House, Crown Royal Industrial Park, Shawcross Street, Stockport, Cheshire SK1 3HB (061- 474 1525).