The push-button release easily converts the $69 Black & Decker Cordless Leaf Hog from blower to vacuum. It can also be used as a mulcher, boasting a 10-to-1 mulch ratio: Ten bags of raked leaves become one bag of mulched leaves.

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Here are two fertilizers that landscapers swear by. Lynda Van Rossum, a horticulturist and owner of Northern Exposure Greenhouse in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, says her secret weapon when it comes to lawn feeding is Milorganite, a fertilizer made from recycled heat-dried bio solids. OK, that's sewage sludge to you and me. This particular stuff was developed by the Milwaukee Metro Sewage District and is all the rage in the Cheese State. As anyone who's ever driven past Nebraska farm fields on a warm day knows, a lot of fertilizer comes from waste.

Milorganite is terrific on lawns, as well as plants and vegetables. It's slow-releasing, low-phosphorous, nontoxic, acts as a deer repellent, and is especially advantageous for those near water. Available to homeowners in 40-pound bags that run $6 to $8.

Here's an edge for those dreaming of a lawn as soft and green as Vijay Singh's Masters jacket. Lesco, the nation's largest provider of products to the professional turf-care industry, has developed a fertilizer specifically designed for golf courses. Basically, the company has improved on the methylene urea/ureaformaldehyde fertilizers that have been around for years. For nonchemistry majors, these fertilizers contain four distinct nitrogen fractions, two that are desirable (slow and long-lasting) and two that are almost useless (way too slow or way too fast). Novex maximizes the good stuff. Plus, the particles are so tiny they are almost invisible.

Lesco products are sold to commercial clients such as Green Bay's Lambeau Field and New York's Yankee Stadium, but some of its products are available to consumers in retail outlets such as Home Depot, or at one of 234 Lesco service centers around the country. Note: Since their emphasis is on professional clients, most products come in large quantities.