Home & Garden Product Reviews – Bringing You Only The Best!

Buyers Guide For Gardening Products

Contents

Gardening can be a very rewarding hobby which gets you out of the house, encourages you to engage with nature and could even turn into a career! If you get into gardening you could grow your own fruit and vegetables to save money and avoid pesticides, you could grow beautiful flowers and you as you improve you could start creating your perfect garden. In order to garden successfully you will need a few tools. Not all of the tools listed below are essential, but they serve different functions which could make your life a whole lot easier. If you’re looking to invest in some new gardening equipment read this buyers guide first to get a good idea of what is available and which products are right for you.

Garden Spades & Forks

If you are looking to buy some gardening equipment the best place to start is with garden forks and spades. Every gardener, whether you want to create your very own botanical garden or you just want to grow some vegetables on the side, needs a garden spade or fork in order to dig successfully. Garden spades typically come with a handle attached to a long base and end with a rectangular spade which is used to shovel dirt and earth, whereas garden forks have the same handle and base but literally end with an oversized fork.

Garden Spades

Garden spades are used for digging holes and moving dirt. This is an important tool for anyone who wants to grow their own flowers, fruit and/or vegetables because you need to dig a hole in the ground before you can plant anything.

Garden Forks

Garden forks are good at breaking up the dirt, removing rocks and other objects which may get in the way, and they can also eradicate weeds without harming the other plants.

Things To Consider

Garden forks and spades are pretty straight forward and easy to buy, but you will still need to think about the following points before you settle on a particular model.

  • Handle Length. When you use a spade or fork you will normally have to stoop in order to dig through the ground. This may involve bending over for long periods of time and can, therefore, lead to back pain. Before you buy your spade/fork you should look at how long the handle is and pick something that is the right size for you so that you can use it for long periods of time without causing yourself unnecessary discomfort.
  • Weight. Most spades and forks won’t start out too heavy, but the longer you use it the heavier it might get. Unless you are fairly strong you should keep an eye out for models which are advertised as ‘lightweight’ and check the products weight before buying so you can make sure that it is light enough to use comfortably.
  • If you don’t want your spade/fork to rust you will need to make sure you choose a blade which is made out of strong, durable and rust resistant material. Stainless steel is always a good choice because it is strong, it is a lot less likely to rust and it is less likely to discolour as time goes on.

Rakes

Rakes are used for removing things such as weeds, stones, leaves and debris. There are a few different types of rakes which you can choose from.

Garden Rakes

These rakes are good at levelling dirt and removing unwanted plants and other objects so you can use the earth to plant your choice of vegetables, flowers and/or other plants. Garden rakes should not be used in flower beds or areas which contain your own plants because they will dig up everything they come into contact with.

Leaf Rakes

These are much lighter garden tools which are primarily used to clear leaves during the autumn period. They can also be used to clear away dead grass, hedge clippings and, if the rake is waterproof, they can be used to remove leaves and other debris from ponds and swimming pools.

Hand Rakes

These are smaller rakes which are popular because they give the user greater control and can be used on different types of terrain. Traditional small hand rakes can be used to tidy flower beds without damaging the plants, whereas small leaf rakes are good for removing any leafs and bits of debris that have clustered around garden ornaments and decorations.

Shrub Rakes

This is another type of hand rake which comes with a wider head. These rakes are ideal for removing grass cutting, leaves, twigs and other bits of debris from smaller hard to reach areas.

Things To Consider

Before you buy a rake read through these points and tips to make sure you know what you are looking for.

  • Clog free feature. If your rake keeps getting clogged up with leaves and other bits of debris it can get really frustrating. There are, however, clog-free rakes which are specially designed to avoid getting clogged up and can thus save you a lot of time and effort. These rakes come in a curved shape which stops bits of debris getting stuck.
  • Ergonomic. If you are planning on using your rake for extended periods of time you will want to ensure it is as comfortable as possible. Try to pick rakes that come with a thick handle and comfort grips to stop your hand slipping and tiring out.
  • Rakes are quite cheap and prices tend to range from around £10 to £30-40. Rakes which come with additional features are likely to be more expensive, but most decent models should be able to do the job they are designed to do.

Pruners

Pruners are a very important gardening tool because they help you remove dead flowers, leaves and other objects which can hinder your plant’s natural growth. Before you buy a set of pruners there are a few things you should think about and certain features you should be aware of.

There are two common types of pruners which can be bought for different functions.

  • Hand-held pruners. This is a broad category which includes all the smaller pruners which you can hold in your hand.
  • Tree pruners. These pruners can be attached to an extension pole which allows you to reach higher objects such as trees.

There are also different types of pruners which are suitable for different functions.

  • Bypass pruners. These pruners are ideal for trimming smaller plants and branches. These pruners work via the use of two blades where one blade slips underneath the other blade in a scissor-like action. These pruners give clean and exact results but they may not be able to deal with tougher vegitation.
  • Anvil pruners. These pruners are stronger than bypass pruners and they can effectively cut through thick branches, wood and other tough materials.
  • Ratchet Pruners. These pruners are comfortable, strong and good at reducing hand fatigue.

Are You Left Or Right Handed?

Some hand pruners have handles which are designed to fit the left hand comfortably, some are designed for the right hand and other handles are designed to suit both hands. If you are buying a hand pruner make sure you check which hand it has been designed for. If you are ambidextrous or if you know the pruners will be used by multiple people then try to select something which has been designed to suit both the left and right hand.

Small Hands

Regular sized pruners will fit many different types of hands, but they may not be suitable for people with especially small hands. If you are worried that regular pruners will be difficult for you to use then there are specific pruners which are designed for those with smaller hands. These models are lightweight, durable and tend to be quite comfortable.

Blade Length

The length of the blade will determine what you can use your pruners for. Smaller blades are ideal for house plants and for use in smaller areas, whilst larger pruners can be used for larger plants and are better for outdoor use.

Weight

Heavy pruners can tire you out and lead to aches and pains, so if you are planning on using your pruner for long periods of time you should make sure the model you choose is lightweight and does not weigh more than you can comfortably carry.

Comfort

If you are planning on using your pruners regularly you will want to make sure they are as ergonomic as possible. Look for pruners with ergonomic grips to reduce strain and protect against hand fatigue.

Lawnmowers

If you want to keep your garden looking respectable then it’s a good idea to invest in a lawnmower. Searching for a lawnmower online may sound easy, but there is quite a lot of jargon and various features/types of lawnmowers that you need to think about before you make your choice. When you’re looking for a lawnmower you need to keep some things in mind.

  • Size Of The Garden. Some lawnmowers do a great job in smaller gardens but flounder in bigger areas, so you need to keep that in mind before you buy.
  • Ease Of Use. Some lawnmowers are a lot easier to use than others, so you’ll need to keep your own fitness and strength as well as how much time you want to commit before you buy a lawn mower.
  • Quality Of The Cut. All decent lawnmowers will do a pretty good job, but some lawnmowers are better for professional cuts. Think about the type of quality you are expecting and then choose a lawnmower which can give you the cut you desire.
  • Price Of The Lawnmower. Before you buy a lawnmower you’ll need to think about your budget and how much you are able/willing to spend and then look for models within your ideal price frame.
  • Storage Space. How much storage space do you have? If space is an issue then there are space saving solutions such as fold-able handles.
  • Type Of Terrain. Do you need a lawnmower that can deal with slopes, or does it need to easily navigate around trees, flowers and/or water?

Types Of Lawnmowers

There are several different types of lawnmowers and all of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. Read on to find out more.

Manual Lawn Mower

A manual lawnmower (also known as a hand lawnmower) is pushed along the lawn by the user. This may seem like a disadvantage in comparison with electric and hands-free options, but manual lawnmowers are actually the ideal choice for many small/medium sized gardens.

Noise Levels

Manual lawnmowers are virtually silent so you can use them without disturbing the neighbours. Noise can be a big problem for other types of lawnmowers so the ability to mow your lawn any time without causing a panic isn’t something you should ignore.

Environmental Impact

Manual lawnmowers are the most environmentally friendly type of lawn mower, so if you want to do your bit for the environment they are a good place to start!

Weight And Storage

Manual lawnmowers are normally light and compact which makes them easy to store away when not in use, and as you have to push them they can even give you an accidental workout!

Grass Collector

Some manual lawnmowers come with grass collectors. The advantage of this is that no cuttings are left behind on the grass, it makes it easier for you to make your own compost, and it helps prevent weeds. The disadvantage is that you may need to stop mowing in order to empty the grass cutter if it gets full, you will have to dispose of the grass cuttings yourself and it prevents the grass from absorbing the nutrients from the cuttings.

Garden Size

Manual lawn mowers can be a bit of a drag if you have a big garden, but if you are looking for an economic, environmentally friendly and affordable option option for a small/medium sized garden then a manual lawnmower could be just what you need.

Electric Lawn Mower

Electric lawnmowers are obviously powered by electricity and so they need to be plugged into a power outlet in order to work. This can be a bit limiting as you either need to mow within the cords reach or end up with an extension lead trailing after you, but even with these drawbacks, electric mowers are a very popular option.

Price

Electric mowers are relatively cheap and so they are a good choice for anyone who has a budget to stick to. Despite their low price, electric lawn mowers tend to perform well with good results.

Easy To Use

Electric lawnmowers are normally easy to use and they don’t require much effort or strength to manoeuvre. They are suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness abilities.

Maintenance

They don’t require much maintenance beyond the standard cleaning measures that you would expect from any lawnmower.

Light Weight

Electric mowers are light weight and easy to store when they’re not in use. This means it’ll be a lot easier to carry the lawn mower to and from your storage area so you’re more likely to actually use it.

Noise Levels

These mowers may not be as quiet as manual options, but they are much quieter than petrol operated mowers. They smell a lot better too.

Garden Size

Electric lawnmowers are also better able to deal with taller, thicker grass and even weeds. You can use an electric lawn mower on small, medium and large gardens alike just as long as the cord can reach far enough.

Watts

The power of an electric mower is normally displayed in watts. The higher the number of watts is a good indication of how powerful the mower will be, so if you have a large garden or particularly stubborn grass you will want a mower with a large number of watts.

There are three main types of electric mowers for you to choose from.

  • Rotary electric mowers. These mowers tend to be cheaper than other options and they offer a good performance. Rotary lawn mowers work by cutting the grass with a quickly rotating blade so they may not be ideal if you need a professional finish, but they are more than suitable for regular garden lawns.
  • Cylinder electric mowers. These models tend to be more expensive than rotary mowers because their blades are more precise and they cut the grass in a scissor like fashion for a more professional finish. These mowers give very polished results, but they are not as effective when it comes to long grass.
  • Hover mowers. These lawnmowers use the same cutting method as rotary mowers, but they also come with a fan and a ‘skirt’ function which helps the mower float in the air. As hover mowers are not confined to the ground they are ideal for uneven surfaces and they have a lot more freedom of movement. Despite their slightly futuristic features, you’ll find that hover mowers tend to be surprisingly cheap.

Cordless Mowers

Cordless mowers are lawnmowers which are battery powered. This means that they have to be charged before you can use them and they will run out of charge at some point, but it also means that there are not movement limitations or annoying cords trailing after cordless mowers.

If you have a large garden you also have the option of buying a cordless mower with multiple rechargeable batteries so you can charge one battery whilst using another to save time, but if your garden is especially large you may find that cordless mowers just aren’t convenient.

Cutting Style

All cordless lawnmowers are also rotary mowers, i.e. they use a rotary cutting motion with a spinning blade. This is an effective grass cutting technique and rotary lawn mowers are pretty good at dealing with long grass, but they may not give you the same professional finish that a cylindrical lawn mower could achieve.

Cordless lawn mowers are battery powered and there is more than one battery type to choose from.

  • Lithium Ion batteries are the most popular choice because they tend to be better quality. Lithium Ion batteries stay charged for longer, they charge faster, their weight isn’t greater than their energy and they are durable.
  • Nickel Metal Hydride batteries can be found in some budget cordless lawnmowers. They still do a pretty good job, but the tend to be out performed by Lithium Ion batteries.

Running Time

Cordless mowers will normally have their running times displayed, and this should be a good indication of how long the lawnmower can be used for before it needs to be recharged. However, you need to keep in mind that the quoted running time applies to ideal scenarios and is likely to be shorter if you have long or wet grass. The running time will vary depending on how much work the lawn mower has to do and how large your garden is.

Charging Time

You may see a few different charging times listed for your lawnmower. Some of these times may refer to ‘quick charge’ functions which will charge your lawnmower faster but won’t charge it all the way to 100%, so it’s important that you check how long charging the lawn mower from zero to 100% charge is going to take.

Price

Cordless lawnmowers tend to be more expensive than corded options. This is because cordless mowers come with batteries and other extras which you need in order for the lawn mower to function. Cordless mowers offer more convenience, but it does come at a price.

Maintenance

Cordless mowers don’t require much maintenance beyond standard cleaning procedures.

Petrol Lawnmowers

Petrol lawnmowers are becoming increasingly popular as their designs improve over time. As these lawnmowers are powered by petrol rather than electricity or batteries they are more flexible and able to move freely around larger spaces.

Power

Petrol lawnmowers tend to be quite powerful and they are therefore better at dealing with tougher terrains such as long grass or weeds.

Noise

Lawnmowers which are powered by petrol tend to be pretty noisy. This is because they come with air cooling engines to stop them overheating and therefore they can disturb people inside and outside your house.

Cutting Methods

Petrol lawn mowers have the same three basic designs that electric lawn mowers have.

  • Rotary Petrol lawnmowers are the most popular option because they are cheaper and effective. The only downside is that because they hack away at the grass they don’t always give the profession finish you would expect from a golf course or professional garden.
  • Cylinder Petrol lawnmowers offer a professional finish because they use a scissor like motion rather than a hacking motion. However, they are not always very good at dealing with long grass.
  • Hover Petrol lawnmowers float in the air and are therefore more versatile and better at dealing with uneven surfaces. They are pretty effective, but they may not do a great job with long grass because it tends to have a negative effect on the hover function.

Starting Options

Different petrol lawnmowers can be started (i.e. switched on) in different ways and generally speaking the easier it is to turn a petrol lawnmower on the more expensive that model will be.

Recoil

A common feature in petrol lawn mowers is the recoil start. In order to use one of these mowers, you will need to pull a handle attached to a cord out of the machine in order to start the engine. As this is a quick motion and the cord can be heavy it puts people who may be lacking in strength or experience joint pain at a disadvantage.

Electric

Some other petrol mowers come with a simple push button which you can press to turn the engine on. This is obviously a lot easier than the recoil option and it is better for people who are less physically strong, but these mowers do also tend to be more expensive.

Key Start

Some more expensive petrol lawnmowers include a key which you use to turn the engine on in a similar way you would start your car’s ignition. This comes with obvious security benefits because it means that only the person who has the key can use the lawn mower, but it can be a real pain if you lose the key and can’t mow your lawn until you find it. Petrol lawnmowers that come with a key start-up are normally the most expensive option.

Fuel

Petrol lawnmowers obviously need fuel to function. If you buy a petrol lawnmower you have the choice of buying a 4 stroke engine or a 2 stroke engine.

  • 4 stroke engines run off regular unleaded fuel which you can get from the petrol station. These engines use oil which is added for lubrication purposes.
  • 2 Stroke engines need oil to be added to the engine in order to function. The oil is burned along with the fuel and as a result, these lawnmowers have quite a distinctive smell. 2 stroke engines are powerful and comparably light, but they are also noisier and smellier than 4 stroke engines.

Power

Petrol lawnmowers normally have their power measured in horse power. The higher the number is the more powerful the lawnmower will be.

Maintenance

Lawnmowers which are powered by petrol need quite a lot of maintenance. The oil needs to be changed regularly, the spark plugs need to be checked and there may be other duties alongside regular cleaning. Petrol mowers also need to have their fuel emptied before they are put into storage.

Sit-On Lawnmowers

Sit-on (otherwise known as a ride-on) lawnmowers are generally used for large gardens and professional use such as for parks or sports grounds. If you are looking to buy a sit on lawnmower you will come across two varieties.

Tractor Mowers

These lawnmowers are large tractor-like vehicles which the user drives around the area. There are blades located near the bottom of the vehicle and these cut the grass in a rotary-style manner as the tractor drives around. These mowers have wide tyres which are designed to deal with various types of terrain without damaging the lawn in the process. These types of mowers are very useful for large areas, but they may be too excessive (and expensive) for personal use.

Self-Propelled Petrol Mowers

These are a fairly new addition to the lawnmower market. They are made up of a high-end petrol mower and a separate seat/attachment which can be connected to make a ride on mower. These lawnmowers are normally bought as push along models, but they have enough engine power and a self-propelling feature which allows them to turn into sit-on mowers.

Cutting Method

Adapted petrol mowers are normally available as cylindrical cutters. They will give you a professional finish, but they may be unable to effectively cut longer grass.

Power

The power of a sit on lawnmower is measured in horsepower units. The higher a lawnmowers horsepower reflects how powerful the mower will be, and the larger your garden is the more horsepower you’re likely to need. For example, a garden which measures at 1.0 acres will need around 13hp in order to do a thorough job, whereas a smaller 0.5-acre garden only needs around 6hp.

Maintenance

If your sit-on mower is powered by petrol it will require a higher level of maintenance. The oil needs to be emptied and changed regularly, the spark leads need to be maintained and there are various other duties you’ll need to complete to ensure that your petrol lawnmower stays in good condition.

Robotic Lawnmowers

If you want to reap the benefits of a freshly cut lawn without actually having to take time out of your day to mow it yourself than a robotic lawnmower could be just what you need. These lawnmowers can cut your lawn without your help or even supervision so you don’t have to waste time doing it yourself.

How Does It Work?

When you buy a robotic lawnmower you will have to set up a wire system which marks out the areas you want the mower to cut. These are pegged deep into the grass so they won’t spoil your lawn.

Mulching

Robotic lawn mowers don’t collect grass and won’t have to be emptied after use. They mulch the grass instead so they basically return the cut grass to the soil so that the earth can benefit from the mulches nutrients. This is a very environmentally friendly way to cut grass because it eliminates waste, it doesn’t contribute to landfill and it also saves you the trouble of having to dispose of the cuttings.

Programming

Some robotic lawnmowers are powered via simple ‘start’ button which you switch on when you want your lawn but, but others can be pre-programmed to stick to a mowing schedule so you can schedule them to mow the lawn in one go and then leave them to get on with it. Many robotic lawnmowers can also recharge themselves after use so you don’t really need to have much contact with them at all. Some of the more advanced models can even detect rain so they don’t damage themselves trying to cut grass in adverse conditions.

Garden Size

The problem with robotic mowers is that the are battery powered and so they have a limited run time before they need to recharge. If you have a larger garden you’re likely to need a larger robotic lawnmower as larger models are likely to be more powerful and last longer. Some more advanced models may be able to remember where they stopped mowing so they don’t have to go back and mow the whole lawn from the beginning.

Charging

There are two main charging options when it comes to robotic lawnmowers.

  • Charging Station. Some robotic lawnmowers come with their own charging station. These models will go back to their charging station automatically when they are running low on charge or when they have finished a job. Robotic lawnmowers which come with their own charging station can basically charge themselves so you don’t need to do it for them.
  • Manual Charge. Some robotic lawnmowers can’t charge themselves and so you will need to plug them into a power socket and wait for them to charge.

Security

Robotic lawnmowers tend to be quite pricey and as they are often out by themselves you may be worried about theft. Luckily a lot of robotic lawnmowers come with ant-theft features such as trackers or even alarms that may sound if the lawnmower is taken away from its home.

Hedge Trimmers

If you have a hedge you’ll want to trim it occasionally in order to keep it manageable, attractive and healthy. If you’re looking to buy a hedge trimmer you may assume that you can just go out and buy the first one you lay eyes on, but there are actually quite a few different options and features you should think about. The type of hedge trimmer you buy will depend on a number of factors.

Corded Or Cordless?

Before you start shopping for a hedge trimmer you’ll need to think about where your hedges are and how big our garden is. Will you have access to a power socket? Can you use an extension cord, or will you have to buy a cordless hedge trimmer?

Hedge Access

What type of hedges do you have? Can you reach both sides of the hedge? Are your hedges taller than you? All of these questions are important because they will help you determine what kind of blade you need. If your hedges can be easily accessed from both sides you should be fine with a standard sized blade, but a longer blade will come in handy if you have a wide hedge or you can’t access the other side of your hedge. If your hedges are tall and you have trouble reaching the tops then you may be better off with a long reach trimmer. If the other side of your hedge is blocked by a fence or a wall then you should make sure that your blade has inbuilt protection features to protect it against damages.

Type Of Vegetation

Before you buy a hedge trimmer you need to think about what kind of hedge you have. This includes things like how thick your hedge is, what type of plants grow in it, how thick the stems are etc. If your hedge has tougher stems and requires more effort to cut through then you will need a power powerful hedge trimmer which can handle it effectively.

Types of Hedge Trimmers

There are a few different types of hedge trimmers for you to choose from, all of which come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Hedge trimmers which run off rechargeable batteries can be used anywhere without you having to worry about extension cables or power sockets. These hedge trimmers are convenient and flexible, but the downside is that they can only be used for a limited amount of time before they need to be recharged. How long the charge will last depends on the model and tends to range from as little as 20 minutes to an hour. Cordless hedge trimmers are a good choice for smaller jobs and shorter hedges, but they may not be the best choice for long trimming sessions.
  • These trimmers need to be connected to a power socket in order to work because they run off electricity. This means you’ll need to use an extension lead/power adapter which may not be ideal for larger gardens, but electric trimmers are a good choice for smaller gardens especially if you can connect them to an outdoor power source. The obvious advantage of electric hedge trimmers is that they don’t run out of charge and don’t need to be recharged before use. Electric trimmers also tend to be quite lightweight and may be more comfortable to use for extended periods of time.
  • Trimmers which run off petrol power are very powerful and are a good choice for tougher hedges and thicker branches. The fact that they can be used anywhere in the garden and they don’t need to be recharged or plugged in during use makes them ideal for bigger gardens and larger hedges, but the downside is that they tend to be larger and heavier in comparison to other models.
  • If you have tall hedges which are difficult to reach with a normal trimmer than your best bet is a long-reach /extendible model. These hedge trimmers are available as cordless, petrol or electric models and are often sold as a multi-tool which can be extended at will.

Price

Hedge trimmers range from less than £50 to around £400. If you are buying a cordless hedge trimmer you’ll need to check and see if the advertised price includes the battery because if it’s not it could cost you an extra £100! The amount you are willing to spend will depend on your budget and what you are expecting to get out of the trimmer, but it’s normally worth paying a bit more initially for a quality product rather than wasting money in the long run by buying something that needs to be replaced within a few months.

Features

Some hedge trimmers comes with special features which can make the whole trimming process a lot easier.

Blade Length

The size of your blade should depend on how large your hedges are as longer blades are normally faster. These long blades can be quite difficult to use because they tend to be heavy and more awkward. If you have smaller hedges you should be fine with a blade that measures at around 45cm, whereas if you have larger and thicker hedges you should be looking at 70cm blades.

Ergonomic

Hedge trimmers can lead to strained and aching muscles if they are used for a long period of time, so it’s a good idea to look for models which are advertised as ‘ergonomic’ and lightweight.

Batteries

If you are buying a cordless hedge trimmer it is important that you think about the batteries. Most modern models will come with Lithium-ion batteries, whereas older moles may include Ni-Cad batteries instead. These batteries have their power measured in volts, and the more volts a battery has the more powerful it is. These batteries can range from a measly 12volts to around 60volts so you have a lot of thick hedges and tough vegetation you may want to buy a more powerful model.

Clipping Collector

This is an attached tray feature which collects your hedge clippings as you go to stop them falling onto the ground. You can then empty them into a bin or compost heap.

Safety Brake

Some hedge trimmers come with an automatic safety brake which will stop the blades immediately after you take your hand off the trigger. This is really important because it means you can stop the hedge trimmer in an emergency to avoid any unpleasant accidents.

Hand Guard

This feature will protect your hand against the blades and flying hedge clippings. This feature protects your hands against accidents and dirt so you can trim with ease.

Weed Removers

Removing weeds from the garden is one of the most annoying parts of gardening, but it is also very important. Weeding your garden helps keep everything tidy and stops the weeds ruining all your hard work, it stops the weeds stealing nutrients away from your plants, and it stops the weeds spreading and creating a bigger problem. If you want to remove weeds from your garden you have the choice of manually removing the weeds yourself or using a chemical weed removal solution.

Manual Weeding

This method involves you using one of the several available weeding tools to pull the weeds out of the ground yourself.

Gardening Hoes

The hoe has been a popular gardening tool since the dawn of civilisation. It is easy to spot because the basic design includes a long handle and a square, often angled metal blade which can effectively remove weeds and loosen the soil to make it easier for plants to flourish. The hoe can reach beneath the ground to cut the weed off at its roots, so if you use it regularly your garden should remain relatively weed free. There are quite a few different types of hoes to choose from.

  • Cultivator Mattock. This is a lightweight, user friendly hoe which is used to remove weeds and soften soil. It comes with a 3-tine side head which is great at loosening hard soil, and the mattock feature is ideal for digging.
  • Dutch Hoes. These hoes are pushed forward and are much less sharply angled. They are ideal for eliminating the fist signs of weeds because they can be pushed into the soil to cut them off at the source.
  • Draw Hoes. These hoes are designed to be dragged towards the user and they have 90 degree blade angles.
  • Onion Hoes. These hoes are ideal for small spaces because they can be used with one hand, they have small heads and curved shafts and they can effectively get rid of any weeds infiltrating your flower beds.
  • Raised Bed Hoe. If a regular hoe is too long and a small hoe is too short then a raised bed hoe may be a good alternative. These hoes typically have handles which are around 31.5 inches long and can be used to weed flowerbeds and other areas where the weeds may be growing alongside other plants.
  • Stirrup Hoes. If you want to eliminate weeds from an area which also has new flowers growing then this is the hoe for you. These hoes are also good at spreading mulch and they come with long handles which can help prevent back pain as you won’t need to stoop as much.
  • Collinear Hoe. These hoes are ideal for areas with rocky soil because the blade is sharp enough to extract the rocks from the ground whilst also getting rid of weeds.

Blade Materials

Your hoe will need to be made out of strong, durable materials to ensure it lasts for a long time. Carbon steel and stainless steel are both good choices. Stainless steel is less likely to rust and is able to get through tougher soil with less effort and mess, whereas carbon steel is more durable and less likely to bend or become damaged after use.

Shaft Materials

You should also think about what material your shaft should be made out of. Wooden shafts are impact absorbent, but they may rot if left in a damp environment for too long. Steel shafts are durable and long lasting, but they may be too heavy for comfortable use. A good choice for shaft material is aluminium and fibreglass because hey are lightweight and will be more comfortable to use over extended periods.

Other Weeding Tools

If you don’t think a gardening hoe is right for you then there are other tools which you can use to successfully tackle your weed problem. Read on for some of your other options.

Farmers Knife

These are strong knives which can be used for removing weeds as well as digging and cultivating. These knives often have two sides. One side is sharp and can be used for cutting through tough roots and vegetation, whilst the other smooth side is ideal for slicing through bags and weaker vegetation. The blade should be made out of strong materials such as stainless or carbon steel and it will need to be sharpened frequently or it will become ineffective. If you decide to buy a gardening knife make sure that you undertake anti-rust precautions to make the knife last longer.

Fishtail Weeder

This is a long tool with a V shaped blade that is good at removing dandelions. All you have to do is dig into the ground and dig the dandelion out by the roots to create more space for flowers and other plants. These tools are quite cheap and can be bought for under £10, and if comfort is an issue you can look for ergonomic weeds with larger handles which can give you a more comfortable grip.

Rocket Weeder

This weed removal tool has a long base complete with a foot pedal which can be used to activate the weed removal claws which can pull weeds out of the ground by their roots. These models tend to have ejector buttons which can be used to release the tweed after it has been ejected so you don’t have to get your hands dirty. They can also come with ergonomic handles for a more comfortable gardening experience.

Chemical Weeding

If you don’t want to manually remove the weeds yourself you have the option of buying a chemical weed removal solution. There are a few different types of chemical weed removers that you can choose from as different products will target different types of weeds. Before you buy a chemical weed remover you will need to think about the following questions because it will make a big difference to what kind of weed killer is best for you.

  • What types of weeds you have?
  • Do you want to plant on the same soil that the eradicated weeds were growing in?
  • Are you growing other plants in close proximity to the weeds?
  • Do you have pets?
  • How bad is the weed problem? Do you need a simple solution or an intensive product?

Selective Weed Removers

These products are designed to only kill a specific type of weed and will therefore leave all surrounding plants untouched. They are good at targeting broader weeds and they won’t damage the surrounding grass.

Non-Selective Removers

These weed killers will eradicate every plant it comes across and so you should not use them in your flower patches or anywhere near your vegetables. These are ideal for areas where you are not intending to grow any other plants.

Organic Weed Removers

A lot of weed removers come with chemicals which can not only damage your soil but may actually include carcinogens which can be detrimental for your health. Organic weed killers are a good choice if you are concerned about health and the environment especially if you have young children, but they may not be as effective as more chemical products.

Pre-Emptive Weed Killers

These types of weed killers will attack seeds before they have a chance to grow. This is ideal if you want to stop the weeds having a chance to form. Post-emptive weed killers do the exact opposite, i.e. they only attack fully formed weeds.

Persistent Weed Killers

Persistence refers to how long the weed killer lasts on the soil. Non-selective weed killers will prevent new life from growing in the soil and so it will stop flowers, vegetables and other plants as well as weeds. Non-persistent weed killers will kill nearby weeds without having any long-term effects on the soil. These types of weed killers allow you to grow new plants on the soil, but as a result they will not be able to prevent new weeds from forming.

Leaf Blowers

The function of a leaf blower is pretty self explanatory, but there are still lots of different varieties, features and sizes to choose from. Before you buy a leaf blower you should consider the following questions.

  • How big is your garden? Do you just want to blow leaves away from your front porch, or do you need to shift them away from a larger area?
  • Do you want to suck the leaves up or just clear them away?
  • How much storage space do you have?
  • Do you want to convert your leaf blower into a vacuum cleaner?If you want to stop falling leaves from taking over your garden read on for everything you’ll ever need to know about leaf blowers!

Cordless Leaf Blowers

These models do tend to be a bit more expensive, but they are also very convenient and easy to use. Smaller cordless leaf blowers are ideal for clearing your patio, front porch or a small garden area, whereas larger models do tend to be significantly more expensive but they are capable of tackling larger spaces. If you have a small or medium sized garden you should find that a cordless leaf blower can do a successful job on one charge, but before you buy a cordless model you should check the advertised running times and charging times and then make sure the customer reviews say the same thing. Cordless leaf blowers aren’t quite as powerful as their corded counterparts, so if you need to tackle a large pile of leaves a cordless model may not be up to the task.

Corded Leaf Blowers

Corded leaf blowers are significantly cheaper than cordless options and there is a lot of choice and variety between corded models. Many corded leaf blowers can also be used as vacuum cleaners, so you can choose between blowing leaves and hoovering the leaves up. Cheaper models tend to be very easy to use and you can normally switch between the blowing and hoover feature with a simple touch of a button or a flick of a switch, but some more expensive models need you to reconfigure them yourself and this can be quite a lengthy and complicated process.

Petrol Leaf Blowers

These are very powerful machines which are ideal for big gardens, but they are quite heavy and hard to use. They don’t require power cables and they are great at removing damp leaves, but they are also very noisy and not exactly environmentally friendly.

Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

These leaf blowers are also cordless which means they are more convenient and you can use them anywhere in your garden. They do tend to be quite noisy, they can be hard to start up and they require a degree of maintenance, but they are often a better alternative to petrol leaf blowers.

Features

This is a list of some of the features you may want to look out for. Read on and see which features you might need.

Waterproof Vacuum Bag

If you are going to be using your leaf blower as a vacuum cleaner it’s a good idea to make sure that the collection bag is waterproof. In an ideal world you would only collect dry leaves, but England is known for its dismal weather so it’s a good to be prepared.

Nozzle

Most leaf blowers will either have a round or flat nozzle. The round nozzles are better for loosening and removing leaves which are embedded in the grass, whereas the flatter nozzles are better at blowing loose leaves into a pile. You should ideally be able to control the air speed as well.

Detachable Nozzle

You will need your leaf blower during the autumn months, but when it gets to winter and spring you’ll probably end up putting it in storage so it’s a good idea to buy a compact model which isn’t going to take up too much room. Some models have detachable nozzles to save space and most leaf blowers tend to be quite small in any case.

On/Off Switch

It’s a good idea to buy a leaf blower which comes with an on/off switch. This is the most convenient way of switching your machine on, but it is also an important safety feature which allows you to turn the leaf blower off quickly if you need to.

Gardening Gloves

Gardening can be a dirty job and if you don’t protect your hands it can lead to blisters, dry skin, sunburn and other things you’d probably like to avoid. Luckily there are loads of gloves which are specifically designed for gardening so you can protect your skin without neglecting your garden. There are a few different types of gloves and materials to choose from so it’s a good idea to get an idea of what your options are before you buy anything. Read on to find out more.

Materials

There are loads of different materials which you can choose from.

  • This material is ideal for harder tasks like digging.
  • Cloth gloves are ideal for lighter chores such as digging, planting seeds and mixing soi. Some gloves may come with leather palms to make it easier to gri and to protect against prickly things such as twigs.
  • Animal skin. These gloves will normally be made out of goatskin or sheepskin and they are good at keeping your hands dry. They tend to be pretty strong without limiting your hand movements and they are normally pretty comfortable. You can also buy pigskin and cowhide gloves for when you are dealing with wood, rocks and other hard objects.
  • This is a flexible material which allows you full use of your hands whilst still protecting them from dirt.
  • These are fully functioning gloves which won’t restrict yr hand movements and are not particularly thick.
  • This material is ideal for dealing with wet objects such as fertilizer.
  • This is a cooling material which will keep your hands from overheating.

There are many different types of gloves that you can choose from. Some options will be designed for extra grip and will enable you to deal with slipper tasks. Others are known as ‘therapeutic’ gloves and they are designed to reduce blisters and general hand fatigue by focusing on relief zones and close fitting designs. Some dedicated gardeners have different gloves for different purposes.

Sizes

Many people don’t know their glove size and will never need to know either, but when it comes to gardening gloves it is important that they fit well or they might actually create more problems then simply not wearing gloves at all. Most gloves which you can buy online should have their measurements included in their specifications, so before you go shopping for gloves try measuring your hands and then use an online sizing chart to determine which size gloves are the best fit for you.

Protective Clothing

Gardening takes place outdoors and so you need to take the same precautions when you are gardening as you would if you were planning to spend the day outside anywhere else. It’s a good idea to invest in a good sun hat and a pair of sunglasses which you can wear to protect yourself during the summer months, and if it looks like it’s starting to rain remember to whip out your rain coat. If you are spending time outdoors in the evening during the summer months it’s a good idea to invest in some strong bug spray otherwise you may be eaten alive.